Jin, a Malaysian man shared on Facebook about how he got scammed of RM9,000 in six minutes on 24th September, and spent half the day at the police station sorting things out.
He shared that he saw an advertisement on a Malaysian-based online shopping platform for the sale of a Huawei P30 Pro at RM2,800, which is a much lower price than the market price. The advertisement was posted by Felix Tan, which Jin says is not the seller’s real name.
Jin contacted Felix and they agreed to meet at 2pm at Solaris, specifically at Starbucks (Block J). Not suspecting anything amiss, Jin went to meet him.
The scammer, a man in his late 20s to early 30s, brought a blue bag which had a sealed iPhone XS with the original seal which he said was for another ‘customer’.
RED FLAG No. 1
Felix told Jin that he would need to go to his office to get the HuaWei phone, and asked Jin for his credit card so he could process the payment. However, Jin refused and insisted that he follow Felix to do it on the spot.
“I refused, and insisted that I should follow him and do it on the spot,” Jin wrote.
“He said that his ‘boss’ wouldn’t allow bringing in ‘outsiders’ as he is purchasing this phone at a ‘staff discount’.”
RED FLAG No. 2
Nevertheless, Felix convinced Jin to hand over his credit card, reassuring him that he would only take a short while. He even left the sealed iPhone XS and his credit card with Jin as he went to ‘process the payment’.
RED FLAG No. 3
“With this, I gave him my credit card at 2.10pm. While ‘processing’ the payment, he said that he swiped the card and asked if I received an OTP code, which I didn’t receive,” Jin wrote.
“He then called me to ask if I could just give the pin to settle the payment ASAP (I was in a hurry to get back to work, I really did not think too much and I just wanted to settle it quickly).”
“This is a mistake on my side, and I know most of you would think how stupid it was to give your pin. Trust me, having gone through about 10 years in trading gadgets, I’m ultra careful with dealing on this, it’s either COD or nothing.”
“But in this case, bearing in mind I’m holding his customer’s iPhone and ‘his’ credit card, I felt secure enough at that point.”
RED FLAG No. 4
Jin then relates that he received a notification from his bank at 2.14pm saying that RM1,500 was withdrawn from his credit card at the ATM.
“It dawned on me that it should not be a ‘withdrawal’ and it should not be via ATM obviously,” Jin wrote.
At 2.15pm, Jin immediately called the bank to block his card, but the hotline brought him to press 1 for English and forced him to listen to a long notice on the latest bank charge, which took about a minute.
RM9,000 gone in six minutes!
At 2.16pm, Jin got a notification saying another RM1,500 was withdrawn, and another RM1,500 at 2.17pm!
During this time, the bank is still bringing Jin through the whole “press 1 for this, press 2 for that” process until it finally reached “for reporting lost or stolen card, press 3”. This was at 2.18pm.
“At 2.19pm and 2.20pm, two more transactions have gone through for RM1,500 each,” Jin said.
“Took a good 10 seconds when a customer representative answered the phone, gave her my details and told her to block my card immediately. As usual, they need to VERIFY YOU even when you’re panicking as sh*t!”
At 2.21pm, another withdrawal for RM1,500 went through.
Altogether, six transactions were made in a span of about 5-6 minutes, most of which happened during Jin’s phone call with the bank.
“I’m writing this long post today not only to be aware of the latest modus operandi of scammers these days, but rather how INEFFICIENT AND SLOW the entire process is to BLOCK your card!” Jin wrote.
He then pointed out three things from the incident:
- Credit cards apparently have a high limit on cash advances (via withdrawal) by default. How is this safe for customers like us? Imagine if your credit card falls into the wrong hands, and they have access to your pin.
- For all banks in Malaysia, please prioritise customers who want to Block Or Report their stolen cards! Why is this option 3 when it should be option 1?
- The bank did not call me even though RM9,000 was being withdrawn in a short span of time! Mind you, I’ve never made a withdrawal on my credit card before this.
Jin was indeed scammed of his money, as the sealed iPhone package that Felix had left with him was filled with nails and a metal door hinge holder.
He also shared a photo from CCTV footage of the scammer that PDRM was able to find.
“I would like to thank PDRM for being very nice and understanding in this matter. Thank you. Note that, there’s nothing much PDRM can do even though they have footage of the scammer via the CCTV recordings,” Jin writes.
“Please inform your family, friends, and relatives regarding points 1 and 2 above. I would strongly advise you to disable withdrawals from your credit card.”
Scammers are getting pretty smart with how they trick people nowadays, which is why we need to be extra vigilant when our money is involved.
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