By Aida Aziz
HUTAN MELINTANG: A retired government pensioner lost a staggering sum of over half a million ringgit after falling victim to a fraudulent cryptocurrency investment syndicate that never existed.
Perak’s Chief of Police, Datuk Seri Mohd Yusri Hassan Basri, stated that the 70-year-old victim incurred a total loss of RM542,171.20 in transactions made since January to the said syndicate.
According to him, the Commercial Crime Investigation Division at the Hilir Perak District Police Headquarters received the report from the victim on Sunday (July 30) at approximately 4:34 p.m. concerning the incident.
“Initial investigations reveal that on January 8, while the victim was at his home in Hutan Melintang, he came across a Facebook page named ‘Najwan Islamic’ claiming to be based in Singapore.
“The page offered cryptocurrency stock purchase services in the United States. The victim proceeded to contact the page owner regarding the cryptocurrency stock purchase through the WhatsApp application.
“The suspect requested personal information from the victim, such as identification and bank account numbers, supposedly for investment documentation purposes,” he informed reporters last night.
He explained that on January 9, the victim initiated the cryptocurrency stock investment by purchasing two units worth RM500 and transferring the money into a local bank account.
“Afterward, the victim was informed by the suspect that he would receive a return of RM4,950 on his investment.
“The victim was promised a profit of RM4,500 on the same day itself.
“The suspect also warned that if the money was not withdrawn, the profit would increase over time,” he added.
Mohd Yusri stated that on January 10, the victim contacted the suspect again to inquire about the investment returns and was informed that he had earned RM18,500 in profit.
However, he mentioned that the victim was required to make various payments to the suspect to receive the full investment returns.
“From January to July 2023, the victim made a total of 133 online money transfers to 39 local bank accounts, resulting in a loss of RM542,171.20.
“Throughout this period, the victim did not receive any returns on his investments. The money involved represents the victim’s savings and pension funds, as well as those of his wife.
“After exhausting his funds, the suspect persisted in pressuring the victim to continue investing. Despite requesting the return of his money, the victim received various excuses and no longer received any responses via WhatsApp,” he added.
Consequently, feeling deceived, the victim reported the incident to the police station.
Therefore, the case is being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code, and investigations are ongoing.
He also advised the public to be cautious and not easily fall prey to various fraudulent investment schemes.