JOHOR BARU - A 29-year-old single mother who wanted to borrow RM8,000 (S$2,500) from a moneylender ended up losing RM24,000 in 10 days instead.
The victim, who only wanted to be known as Peng, said she needed the money urgently to pay off her housing loan and utility bills amounting to some RM3,500 after her tenant ran off in May, leaving her with the debt.
In May, she saw an advertisement in a newspaper and decided to call the number to ask for a loan, but there was no answer so she forgot about the matter.
"Then on Sept 3, I received a call from the moneylender, a man named Chan, offering me a loan of RM8,000 with a two-year repayment period and a low interest rate.
She said at first, the man told her to make an online transfer of RM1,000 to prove her ability to repay the loan before he could process her application.
After doing so, Peng claimed that the man asked her to make transactions of RM1,000, RM2,000 and RM4,000 - nine times in total - to different bank accounts to "prove my ability to repay the loan" before he could release the loan amount.
Peng, who has a nine-year-old son, said she listened to the man from time and time because he kept assuring her that he wanted to help her.
She ended up polishing off her savings and borrowing about RM14,000 from family members to deposit to Chan until Sept 13 when she ran out of money to give him.
The man could not be contacted after that.