August 23rd, 2012 by Teresa Kok's Office
My assistant Peter (from left), me, Mrs. Tan and my assistant Edmund
Yesterday I have a press conference with Mrs Tan, a lucky draw scam’s victim’s mother. Her daughter Rachel got involved in a scam and mistakenly with drew RM10k out from credit card and bought a gold chain under the influence of the lucky draw company. Rachel then passed the gold chain to the sales persons of the lucky draw company and got a mattress.
The Salak South New Village police station officer then called the company, the company then decided to refund the gold chain and cash to Rachel Tan.Mrs Tan was very grateful to my staffs, she expressed gratitude to the police and my assistants in press conference.
I urged the members of public to be cautious when they are approached by the lucky draw company. I also urged the police to set up special unit to assist victims of such lucky draw scam. The police in my constituency know who the scammers are but unfortunately they chose to close one eye and let them continue to cheat ignorant and greedy people.
This is rachel’s account and police report dated 9.8.2012:-
Hi, my name is Rachel. I was recently a victim of a scam where I lost a total of about 2000 pounds- RM 10000. I know that there are a lot of stories of how people got scammed and you’re probably wondering how I could be so stupid as well, but hear me out.
It was on a Thursday, 9 August 2012, 2.30 pm where I came down from the monorail at imbi station (the one at Berjaya Times Square). I was walking towards Sungai Wang alone (wanted to shop around), there were a lot of people near the bridge giving out something. A Chinese young lady in her early twenties approached me, she mentioned a lucky draw, I wasn’t interested. She pushed further, saying it wouldn’t take me much time, and most people get a ‘thank you’ only and just sign on it (didn’t win anything). I thought since I wasn’t in a hurry, I would just get it over with and go on my way.
From that moment on, I can’t clearly tell you exactly why the rest of the story happened but all I know is there was contact with her, she tore the paper-where there was a silver circle with the words Super Bonus in the middle. She called her friend also distributing stuff, very excitedly telling me I won a prize which could range from a trip overseas to a car and then they took me into a taxi (there are a lot of taxis just waiting under the bridge), next thing I know I’m following them alone to Taman Sungai Besi (at that moment I did not know where I was, I only found out much later).
In the taxi, I took out my sunglasses, and she even helped me wipe my sweat. (I want to clarify something here, I am a very paranoid person- I do not like strangers to touch me nor would I usually randomly follow them off. But at that moment, I was basically very obedient and it was like I trusted EVERYTHING they said and did everything they asked me to do.)
Anyway their office was at an address at Jalan 1/108c, Taman Sungai Besi, 57100 Kuala Lumpur. They took me to Public Bank first, but my Malaysian card had only RM500 inside, so they took me back to their office- the highest floor. The front entrance had a sign called Memory, reflexology. The office had a transparent door, and to enter it, there was some password which the first girl, Mimi (that’s what she told me) keyed in. Then, they took me to the end of the room, the room was very empty- with only two paintings, a few chairs and a table- so suspicious right? There was another Chinese guy there, Johnson, in his mid-twenties to early thirties perhaps. Throughout the whole process, a few other people walk in and out, to congratulate me, there were also another two guys. At the back of my head, I remember being suspicious, I would ask questions and they would pacify me by saying something that ‘made sense’ that time, then I would listen to them. They showed me articles and said that for the prize (as I could be winning a car), there were some procedures I had to do first before I could find out the prize. We had to withdraw money and enter the serial number of the money to pay ‘government tax’.
And whatever they asked me, I would reply them. I even remember at one point of time, they asked me if I had my driving license, I practically threw my wallet to them and they were like no, no, its alright, you can keep it. Anyway they found out I had my uk card on me (I’m studying overseas, back for the summer holidays), inside my UK card were my next semester’s tuition fees- about 6000 pounds which is RM 30000. My UK card can’t actually be used here, they got me to call UK and activate the card (I even called my mom to get my internet ID number, and I wanted to tell her but they told me not to). Then we went back to Public Bank and managed to draw only RM 1000, we went to RHB bank as well to try but they wouldn’t even accept my card, the money and the bank slip was all given to them. At that point, I don’t know how to explain how I feel, its like I know something is wrong, I’m scared, I want to leave but I feel like I can’t.
I managed to convince them that it was the UK bank’s fault- because mine is a student account, so there is a limit to withdraw money, hoping they would give up. But then they took me instead to buy gold at a nearby shop using a taxi but that shop only takes in cash. By the way, I now suspect that taxi driver was also in the loop, that taxi was taken outside their office, and it was the same taxi that took us everywhere. Then, we went to Poh Kong Midvalley where a lady served us. I basically sat in front and said to the lady- I need gold between RM9000 to RM10000 and bought about RM9400 of gold- two gold chains, one weighing about 24 grm and the other 18 grm. Don’t ask me why, but at that time I was somehow smart enough to ask for only RM9000 more and not the whole RM 30000. They weren’t happy and said that we had to go elsewhere to buy more gold, I started to throw a tantrum in the taxi and shouted at them, I felt very stressed, nervous and scared. They tried to pacify me and one of the girls suggested I was thirsty and drink some water. I am glad that I didn’t as there could be stuff in there.
So they took me to Poh Kong OUG where one girl would buy water and the other girl would accompany me in the gold shop. There a guy served us, we told him to bring out his heaviest gold chains, all about 40 grm. Just when I was about to pay, I gave my debit card to him. My friend called me again, (before that he had called me, I wasn’t clear at all in the first phone call when he called me, I only manage to tell him to come). By then I was panicking a bit, I was like I don’t know what is going on, I have gold here, I need you, please come. I wanted to tell him everything, but everything was so confusing, it was like I couldn’t get the words out. They pulled me out of the gold shop when I was talking on the phone, my friend asked me where I was, I asked them for the address- they said they didn’t have it and tried to pacify me again. We went back in to the shop and the poh kong staff told us that my foreign card couldn’t be accepted here, but I could tell they sensed something wrong. Outside the shop, I started to make a scene, saying loudly I refused to buy anymore gold and stuff, then they took me back to the office, where there was another lady there also.
There, I demanded for the address, every time I tried to get out of the room, they would corner me and asked me to go back in. They gave me the impression at that time that they would lend me money and I passed the gold (all this obviously doesn’t make sense but to my distorted brain at that time it did). Anyway I passed them the gold (which still brings me nightmares), I also signed a contract where it says that if I didn’t get any of the items stated below then they would have to pay me RM24,000, and in the items below included was a Keoyoung jade mattress.
All the while, I just wanted to get home. Then, they gave me something to spin on the silver thing, and I won a ‘jade mattress’. It was then that I started crying a lot, asking back for the RM10000- tuition fees, and they refused to give to me. Actually, even before that I had shouted at them accusing them of being scammers, but they always had a way to kind of pacify me and listen to them again. The guy said he would help me sell the mattress in two days and after they minus the commission, I would be able to get RM19000. He also said he would give me a copy of the contract. I wanted to wait for my friend, by then it was about 5.30pm, he said I had to wait outside the office alone then because it was closing hours. Then they pack me off in the same taxi to Sunway Pyramid where I was supposed to be meeting friends with the stupid mattress. At the traffic light, I managed to take down the main road address of jalan 3/108c, 57100. Actually, throughout the whole process, I wanted to take a lot of things like the taxi license plate number, their ic and the contract but it was like after a while you just forget and it slips your mind.
When I reach sunway, I just felt so scared and alone lugging the mattress- the feeling was like when you’re 4 years old and you lost your mom in a supermarket. I went into the toilet near MNG and I called my friend to come to me, I was having a mini panic attack. When he came, he told me to report to the police, I was still ‘defending them’ saying no, maybe its not a scam (I don’t know what was wrong with me then). He was shocked, “Rachel, you just gave them RM10,000, you’re starting to make me believe in those bomoh shit”.
So anyway we went to make a police report, but I was still feeling a bit confused and stuff, I even called the ‘thieves’ a few times, got their number and they were still assuring me that in two days, they’ll settle it for me.
Later I went back home, I looked pale and I was really tired. I went to my room immediately and found on the internet many similar scam cases. My mom walked in at the same time and I broke down at that moment and cried, all the tension of the day released, told her what happened. Then, I went to sleep, it was only when I woke up the next day that I was really ‘awaken’.
I seriously don’t know what they did to me, whether it was occultic- pukau, santau, hypnotism or even using mind drugs like hallucinogen. I was like in a daze, half conscious, half not.. very obedient to what they said. In a sense, I was also very naïve, I let my guard down as well because they were young Chinese girls like me.
My message is this, I want everyone to be aware that it is not always greed that can get you in this situation, kindness to others as well (besides lucky draws, there are also charity). Stay away from strangers, don’t talk to them (they are very good speakers), don’t let them touch you, don’t drink or eat anything from them. This few days, I have been reading a lot of scams like this on the internet as early as 2007, this has been going on for more than five years. They tend to scam young people- students and old people especially females. But guys, don’t think you are spared either, there are also cases of guys and people in pairs. They have people who know the law, they give you a ‘receipt’ and an item to make it like a buy- sell transaction (a cheap item for a lot of money). They also tend to operate near train stations and where you can also easily grab a cab near sungai wang, kl central, midvalley ktm area and go off to their office.
My Mum took me back to Tmn Sungei Besi to confirm the address. We saw Johnson passed us. He saw us later. We dared not approached him and he hid himself at the end coffee shop on his mobile most of the time. We talked to some shopkeepers and was told the previous week police came with victim to the place. We were very surprised how on earth they can still operate the scam there then.
We made calls to police station to find out when the detective will see me, but was sent to call a few police stations. At the end Salak South station directed us to call Tribunal Tuntutan. All I have with me is a pink copy receipt with no company stamp. We took the hardware shopkeeper’s advice and called Sin Chew Jit Poh and was given the contact to DAP, Kuchai Lama.
DAP staff were very helpful and as there is not enough evidence, we agreed to have a press conference to do our part to bring greater awareness and warning and hopefully other victims will also come forward to do the same so that in time some action will be taken by the relevant authorities to take these scammers off the streets and not do their “business” so blatantly.
We wonder if there is any law that can stop people from asking for donation, charity contribution and lucky draw on the streets. Or can posters to put up at monorail, ktm & LRT locations to warn the public. And since the scammer always use taxi as their means of transport, will the taxi association do their part to have the drivers more alert of such scam and give help to the victims.
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