Babysitter loses almost S$370,900 to con man

IPOH, Malaysia - A former babysitter lost nearly RM1 million (S$370,870) to a man who told her that he could find help to rid her house of a curse.

After telling her to give her money for him to seek help in Thailand, the woman was left high and dry after the man disappeared with her savings and money she had borrowed from relatives and friends.

Teo Kheng Lang, 63, of Taman Pakatan Jaya here, said the 52-year-old man, who works as a painter, used to send his son to her house.

"Two years ago, I lent him some money to buy paint for his house-panting contract job.

"He then claimed that my house was under a black magic spell and that I would die if I didn't do something about it," she said yesterday.

Teo said that as she was busy baby-sitting four other young children and couldn't leave the house, she gave the man her ATM cards to pay "religious experts" to lift the curse.

"He told me that he would go to Thailand to meet a sifu and needed more money. I borrowed from my relatives and friends because I feared for my life," she said, adding that the man also brought her to see several loan sharks to borrow money.

Teo said she ended up giving the man RM800,000 of her own money, while the rest was borrowed.

She said she lost contact with the man in October last year.

Teo, who now works as a cook, said she met the man's wife at her fruit stall in Taman Pakatan Bercham recently, but was told that she did not know where her husband was.

"I was also told by a worker that he had run away because loan sharks were after him.

"My relatives and friends are now accusing me of scheming with the man to cheat them of money. I'm very depressed and cannot sleep because of this incident," Teo said.

Teo sought help from Perak MCA Public Service and Complaints Bureau chief Jimmy Loh here.

Loh urged the painter to return Teo's money.

"She is the victim here and she wants to clear her name," he said at his office.