$19,000 lost in mattress scam in Malaysia

IPOH - Having not heard of any news on scratch-and-win scams lately, cleaner Yep Nam Meng thought that such tricks were no longer around.

He ended up falling into the trap on Tuesday after being goaded by three men to pay RM50,000 (S$18,600) for three jade mattresses thought to be worth about RM165,000.

"I have read about these scammers in the newspapers before," said Yep, 71.

"But that just did not strike me when three youngsters came up to me and asked me to take part in a scratch-and-win game," he said during a press conference held by Bercham MCA division chairman Lim Huey Shan yesterday.

Yep said the incident took place shortly after he went to a bank to withdraw some money.

The culprits, believed to be in their 20s, told him that he had won three mattresses after taking part in a game.

"They then took me to their office in Bercham and asked me to pay RM51,000 in taxes to get the mattresses," he said.

"It took about two days for me to realise that I was cheated," he said.

Lim said he had taken Yep to the police and the Consumers' Tribunal to lodge a report.

"We hope that the matter would be investigated and that Yep could still get back half the money. I've also taken him to meet with lawyers so that they can take up his case in court," he added.