90-year-old in Malaysia cheated of life savings totalling almost $1.3 million

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PETALING JAYA - A senior citizen lost her life savings of almost RM4 million (S$1.3 million) after she was duped into believing she was an accomplice in a money-laundering syndicate.

Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Nik Ezanee Mohd Faisal said the 90-year-old retiree had deposited RM3.83 million of her life savings into seven bank accounts between April 20 and June 15 after receiving a call telling her that there was a package with her name sent from Perak to Sabah.

He said the victim was told that her MyKad and ATM card details were on the package and the caller then connected her to two others claiming to be police officers from the Perak police headquarters.

He said the two, who identified themselves as "Sgt Ho Mum Foo" and "Insp Herman Lee", said they were attached to the Commercial Crimes Investigations Department in Perak.

They also claimed that a former bank employee, whom they said had been arrested, had used her details in a money-laundering syndicate.

"The callers then told the victim that police would detain her for 45 days if she told anyone about the case," he said.

Frightened by the threats, the retiree then transferred her money to the accounts provided by the scammers.

ACP Nik Ezanee said police are actively tracing the suspects and advised the public not to easily believe such threats.

"The scammers are now targeting senior citizens who may not be wise to their tactics and tricks.

"Please call the police if you receive such calls," he said.