IPOH - A 55-year-old kindergarten teacher nearly lost more than RM35,000 (S$13,560) after being told by an unknown caller that her 32-year-old son had purportedly been arrested.
Thanks to her persistence, she lost only RM10,000 before freezing the bank account where she had deposited the money for her son's release.
Yau Sau Har from Gunung Rapat said she received a call on her landline at about 3pm on Sept 19 from a person who called himself Wong, who requested for her handphone number.
She gave him her handphone number and after 30 minutes, she received a call from her son's handphone number, but the caller on the other side was the same Wong who had told her that her son had been arrested.
She said while the conversation was ongoing, she heard a voice at the background screaming for help to be released.
Yau said Wong requested RM60,000 for the release of her son, but she told him that she only had RM35,150.
She followed his instructions to deposit the money via an automated teller machine at a bank in Jalan Raja Dr Nazrin Shah under the account of one Koh Kar Yee.
"After taking out the money from my fixed deposit account, and the transactions had gone through, Wong told me to throw all the receipts into a drain, which I did out of fear," she said.
Shortly after, Yau called her son, a crane operator, and to her shock, he told her that he was at work and that he was fine.
"Only then did I realise that I had been cheated.
"I immediately rushed to the bank to request it to check on the transactions.
"However, since it was already 4pm, the officers at the bank were hesitant to entertain me.
"When I insisted that they check the account, they found that RM10,000 had been withdrawn.
"I managed to freeze the particular account on time, leaving the remaining RM25,150 still intact," she said at a press conference organised by Barisan Nasional Public Services and Complaints Centre chief Mohd Rawi Abdullah yesterday.
Yau and her son then lodged three police reports at the Kampung Rapat and Sungai Senam police stations.
During the ordeal, the son claimed to have received calls from sales people offering him loans, credit cards and insurance deals, which he believed were to prevent his mother from getting through to him.