KUALA LUMPUR - Conmen have cheated Malaysians a total of RM5.2mil (S$2 million) since last year, said Datuk Seri Michael Chong.
"In these two years, there were 22 cases involving 17 female victims and five men," said the MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head.
Chong said this at a press conference in which he gave details of two latest cases involving an Indian national - Tiju George Thomas, 29.
Thomas, who was arrested on Dec 3 in Petaling Jaya, allegedly conned two Malaysians he had met over the online matrimony website shaadi.com.
A 30-year-old self-employed woman who wished to be known as Susan said she met Thomas in August.
Susan said he called himself "Tiyan" and said he was a Malaysia-based business banking manager and restaurant owner. He also promised to marry her in December.
Then, "Tiyan" began asking her for money, Susan said.
"Soon, he asked for RM800 then RM8,000 over financial issues in his business," said the victim, adding that this aroused her suspicions, which prompted her to google "Tiyan".
"I was shocked to find out that there were other girls who fell into his trap," said Susan, who filed a police report at the Setapak police station.
Another victim, a 29-year-old self-employed woman who wished to be known as Vanesa, said she had only wanted to be friends with "Tiyan".
"He started telling his sad stories after we became friends, pleading with me for RM8,000 on Oct 24 to pay for work permit applications for his employees, which they needed or they would be deported," she said.
It was understood that Tiyan might have had accomplices. Chong urged other victims of the conman to come forward.