JOHOR BARU - Even scams come with GST now.
A teacher in her 40s ended up paying nearly RM36,000 in a parcel scam, reporting to the police when the syndicate demanded the Goods and Services Tax charges.
Sources said the teacher got a call from a person in the United Kingdom whom she had befriended via Facebook. He "was so smitten by her" that he wanted to send her some surprise gifts.
Several days later, she got a call from a courier company in Sabah, claiming that it had a parcel for her from UK.
However, she was asked to pay RM3,000 in handling charges.
As soon as the teacher deposited the payment, she received an SMS claiming that the parcel contained money and that the authorities would need RM8,000 so that no action would be taken against her under the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
There on, the syndicate members continued to extort money from the teacher, threatening to call the police and have her husband arrested if she did not pay up.
"They even imposed late payment charges," the source said.
"The woman did as she was told until they asked her for another RM18,000 - for GST," the source said, adding that the woman, no longer able to stand the harassment, told her family about the blackmail.
A police source advised the public to be cautious about such parcel scams.
"People should also be more cautious when they are asked to deposit money into strangers' accounts," he said, urging those with information to contact the police hotline at 07-221 2999.
In an unrelated case, an accountant is being investigated for criminal breach of trust for cashing in company cheques after forging her manager's signature.
The woman, in her 30s and working in a construction company, issued more than a dozen cheques for her personal use since the beginning of the year. The entire amount totalled almost RM80,000.
The company only discovered the fraud when the manager, who was unable to find the cheque book, decided to seek for a new one from the bank.
Sources said the manager lodged a report after being informed that transactions had been done using the old cheque book.
The accountant's theft went unnoticed as she made out cheques for small amounts - each time between RM2,000 and RM10,000.
Johor Baru North OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Khamsani Abdul Rahman said police were now looking for the woman.