We hear of people falling victim to scammers pretty often. When reading these stories, we think: how could someone be so gullible to believe the lies of a scammer?â€
Well, the thing about scammers is they know exactly how to make you feel secure and comfortable enough that you divulge sensitive information to them.
Otherwise, they wouldnâ€™t be called scammers now, would they?
Facebook user Jin Wai Choo had the unfortunate luck of becoming a victim to one very smooth scammer who obviously came prepared.
Jin had noticed an advert on Malaysian-based online shopping platform Mudah, for a Huawei P30 Pro that was being offered at a price marginally lower than the market price.
The advert had been posted by a â€œFelix Tanâ€, knowing that the price was a steal, Jin contacted â€œFelixâ€ for a COD deal.
The two planned to meet for the COD at Starbucks in Solaris at 2pm on Sept 24, on the day of the deal, Jin did not suspect anything amiss.
Upon arriving at Starbucks, Jin meets â€œFelixâ€, a Chinese man in his late 20â€™s, early 30â€™s carrying a blue bag containing a sealed iPhoneXS. According to â€œFelixâ€, the iPhoneXS was for another â€œcustomerâ€.
RED FLAG NO.1
â€œFelixâ€ tells Jin that he needs to â€œgo upâ€ to get the Huawei phone. He also says that he would need to process the payment using the credit card terminal in his office.
Initially, Jin refused, insisting that he would follow him and they would do the transaction together on the spot.
â€œFelixâ€ rejects the suggestion saying that his â€œbossâ€ wouldnâ€™t allow him to bring â€œoutsidersâ€ into the office as he is purchasing the phone for Jin at a â€œstaffâ€™s discountâ€.
RED FLAG NO.2
â€œFelixâ€ instead reassures Jin and offers to leave the sealed iPhoneXS and â€œhis ownâ€ credit card as he passes Jin a credit card with the name â€œFelix Tanâ€ printed upon it.
RED FLAG NO.3
Jin then passes â€œFelixâ€ his credit card at 2.10pm.
While â€˜processingâ€™ the payment, â€œFelixâ€ tells Jin he had swiped the card and asked if Jin received an OTP code – a code he didnâ€™t receive.
â€œFelixâ€ follows up the question with a phone call asking Jin if he would just pass â€œFelixâ€ his pin to settle the payment as soon as possible.
At this point in the story, Jin admits that giving â€œFelixâ€ his pin was definitely a mistake on his part.
However, considering Jin was holding the iPhoneXS AND â€œFelixâ€™sâ€ credit card, he felt secure enough to trust this person.
At 2.14pm, Jin receives a notification from CIMB that RM1,500 was withdrawn from his credit card at a CIMB ATM.
It then dawns on Jin that the transaction should not be a â€˜withdrawalâ€™, and it should definitely not take place via a CIMB ATM.
IMMEDIATELY, Jin dials the CIMB Hotline to block his card. The time is 2.15pm.
The rest of the story is told best in Jinâ€™s own words:
â€œAlas, the hotline rang for a good 5 seconds before you hear the â€˜Thank you for calling CIMB, for English press 1â€™.
Following that, youâ€™re forced to listen to a LONG NOTICE on CIMBâ€™s latest bank charged (A good 1 minute which felt like 10 minutes).
At this point whilst still on the call, 2:16pm, RM1,500 withdrawn. 2:17pm, RM1,500 withdrawn.
Iâ€™m sweating bricks. Next you hear, for credit card opening or activation press 1, for banking etc press 2, AND FINALLY, for reporting on lost or stolen card PRESS 3, this was at 2:18pm.
At 2:19pm and 2:20pm 2 more transactions have gone through for RM1,500 each.
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 youâ€™re panicking as s**t!
Guess what, there goes another withdrawal at 2:21pm for RM1,500.
In total, 6 transactions were made in that short span of time (5-6 minutes).â€
Jin Wai Choo via Facebook
After posting the incident on Facebook, Jin was contacted by a previous victim of the same scammer.
In fact, the scammer has supposedly been caught previously due to his dubious ways and had served a jail sentence before being released.
Taking into account the scammer’s modus operandi, Jin also predicts that “Felix Tan” is possibly the scammerâ€™s previous victim.
BTW, judging by one of the pictures shared by Jin in his post, the “sealed iPhoneXS” turned out to be a box filled with nails and screws.
Jin is appalled at how long it took his bank to respond to emergency situations such as his and believes that if he was able to block his card sooner, it would have saved him a whole lot of money.
TRP has since contacted CIMB for a comment on this issue and are still awaiting a reply.
In the meantime, we urge our readers to stay vigilant and be careful of scammers!
You can read Jin’s full Facebook post below:
Starving forensic investigator turned writer cause she couldnâ€™t find a job. Used to search for killers now searches for killer stories.