Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Conmen Striked Again

The following dialogue was re-constructed by the old folks' son. His old folks were conned and this blogpost is to serve as a lesson and information for all Malaysians.
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PA & MA GOT CONNED BY CONFIDENCE TRICKSTERS

Yesterday at around 11.30am, Ma received a phone call. There was a male voice crying at the other end of the line, saying “he is in pain, got beaten up by people and asking Ma to help him”. When Ma asked who he is, another male Chinese voice said:

Cbinese Male (CM): He is your son, We got him with us.

Ma: What happened? Why is my son with you? What have you done to him?

CM: He owed us (Ah Long) a lot of money.

Ma: How come my son got owed you money. He never borrow from Ah Long.

CM: He got football debts.

Ma: My son don’t gamble, how come got owe you debts.

CM: He stood as guarantor for a friend’s loan. Now that friend runs away, so we got your son to settle the loan. We have been watching your son for 2 weeks.

Ma: How much is the loan?

CM: RM40,000. You bring money to get your son back or we will kill him. Chop him up into many pieces.

Ma: How is my son now? (She already assumed the crying voice is my voice, and she is panicky, fearing for my safety.)

CM: He felled down and knock his head. Got some bleeding on the head. We will take him to the clinic afterwards. You quickly bring the money to bail your son or he will die.

Ma panic and screamed for Pa.

Pa then talked to the CM on the phone. CM warned Pa & Ma not to make police report, or talk to anyone or inform the neighbours or call other people. Demanded Ma to stay near the phone.

CM then instruct Pa to withdraw money RM12,000 from bank to bail his “son”. CM asked Pa where he stays and where is his bank he will take money from. (Amount was later reduced to RM10,000)

Pa told him they stay where they stay and his bank is Hong Leong Bank.

CM then instructed Pa to go to Hong Leong Bank to withdraw RM10,000 and to go to the bus stop in front of the fast food restaurant at the main road and wait for further instructions.

CM warns Ma not to go out of the house. She also cannot put down the phone or cut off the line. She is to hold the phone and keep listening to CM’s instruction.

PA then rode his motorcycle to HLB and withdraw RM10K from his FD. HLB Officer was courious as to why Pa wants to withdraw so much cash. Kept asking him what he wants so much cash for and is there anything wrong? She noticed Pa looked worried and nervous. The Officer noticed that the FD was joint-name with me and she called me from her office (that time was around 1.00pm) to ask if I am aware why my Dad needs to withdraw so much cash. I told her I am not aware of any reasons, and if he needs money, then let him take it.

After a while, I felt it a bit strange that Pa wants to take so much money, so I called home to check. But the house phone was engaged. I tried a few times and then I just forgot about the matter.

(Little did I know that Bank Officer was an angel send by God to try and intercept and stop Dad from giving the money to those confidence tricksters. But I was not sensitive enough to realize that God was doing something to save us from being cheated.)

Pa then took the money all RM10K inside an envelope and walked towards the bus stop. There were some people waiting for bus. Pa sat on the bench and another CM was sitting at the other end of the bench talking on his hp. CM2 then walked towards Pa and said “got call for you”.

Pa took the hp and CM1 asked if Pa has withdrawn the money. Pa said “yes” and CM1 told Pa to pass the money to CM2. CM1 told Pa on the phone, that after they counted the money and found correct, they will release his son in about 20 mins time. Then they will come and talked about “how to settle the balance amount”.

Pa gave the envelope to CM2 and he walked away, climbed up the overhead bridge and cross over to the other side of the road.

Pa went home and waited. After waiting for about 30 mins, and I still didn’t appear, Ma got worried and called my hp, and asked where I was and did I go anywhere in the morning. I told her I was in the office the whole day and got no time to go out.

There are a few things we can learn from this episode.

1. Don’t panic when we received such phone calls. Try to stay calm and rational. Ma wanted to call my wife to find out where I was actually, but the CM warned Ma not to go out of the house. CM got Ma to hold onto the handset all the while when Pa went to the Bank to withdraw money. CM kept talking to Ma to prevent her from going out to make phone calls or seek for help.

2. If we are confident of our children’s activities outside of the house, then we can confidently ignore the caller and can even challenge him to show proof.

3. Make an effort to contact another family member to verify the facts.

4. Demand to speak to the “victim” to verify their claims. Try to stall for time and seek help from police, neighbours, family members.

5. Don’t hand over cash without seeing the “victim” first.

6. There has been many similar cases circulating in the internet. Do take note and warn our children.

7. If there is someone claiming to be from the mobile operator company asking you to shut down your hp for 3-4 hours for “up-grading/maintenance of network / system”; please ignore them. Once your hp is switched off, no one can contact you. That’s when they will move in and try to con your family members to pay money to bail/rescue you. Since your hp is unreachable, family members may be misled into believing that you are being caught by them and the threat is real. You will then succumb to their tricks/demands.
Tags: Conman, Trickster, Fraudster, Con

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