Hospital lodges report over 'virtual' scam

KUALA LUMPUR - A private hospital here has lodged a police report disassociating itself from a dubious "virtual hospital" which advertised vacancies to fool expatriates into paying visa fees upfront for non-existent jobs.

Columbia Asia Hospital Setapak general manager Tom Lim said the fake Dutamas Hospital had used information from his hospital's website to make the con more believable.

"As soon as we were alerted, we conducted investigations online and found several links from our hospital on its website," he said after lodging a police report at the Setapak police station yesterday.

He said the website had also listed names and contact details of three staff members, namely its marketing manager, customer service manager and human resource department vice-president, to convince victims.

"I assure the public that our hospital has no affiliation with the fake hospital and we hope that it does not tarnish our reputation.

"I hope police will conduct a thorough investigation and bring those responsible to justice," he said.

It was reported in The Star on Thursday that a "virtual hospital" was targeting prospective expatriates into parting with their money by getting them to pay for Malaysian visas upfront.

The fake Dutamas Hospital offered salaries of more than US$9,000 (S$11,023) per month for executive jobs, in addition to holidays, accommodation and other perks to lure victims.

If they take the bait, they would be asked to pay thousands of ringgit upfront as visa and contract fees.

Its website, created early this month, displayed detailed information including address, contact numbers and a list of doctors.

But checks showed that the information listed was partially lifted from Columbia Asia Hospital Setapak's website.

Calls to the numbers listed went unanswered and the address of the "hospital", supposedly located at Solaris Dutamas, does not exist.