Senior citizen falls victim to lottery windfall scam

PHOTO: Reuters

KUANTAN - A senior citizen fell victim to a man who claimed he was a foreigner and needed help to collect a RM400,000 (S$128,650.6) lottery windfall.

The 72-year-old woman, who only wanted to be known as Lee, said she was approached by a man while she was at the Taman Angkasa morning market here on June 20.

"The man said he needed help because his father was in the hospital.

"He said he won RM400,000 in the lottery but since he is an Indonesian, he could not collect his winnings.

"He asked me to help open a bank account with RM10,000 in deposit so the money could be transferred into that account.

"In return, he would give me RM3,000 for my assistance.

"I was moved to help him. I did not even want the RM3,000," said Lee at the Kuantan PKR service centre yesterday.

Lee said the man then took her home to get her savings account book but upon seeing that she only had about RM5,000 in her account, the man became upset.

"I told him I had another RM25,000 in fixed deposit. He then took me to the bank and told me to pretend to be his mother," she said.

"The man said he was unwell and covered his nose and mouth during the entire time I was withdrawing my money.

"Strangely, he deposited RM2,000 back into my account when I passed him my money."

Lee said the man then took her to a restaurant and told her a bank manager would be waiting inside to complete the transaction of the RM400,000.

But there was no one waiting and that was when Lee realised she had been cheated.

She described the man as heavyset and balding with a birthmark on his head.

The man claimed to be an Indonesian Chinese and looked to be in his 50s.

There was a heavyset woman and a thin man accompanying him, she added.

Teruntum assemblyman Sim Chon Siang said he found out that there were two other victims of the man fitting Lee's description.

"Lee is too embarrassed to lodge a police report but I will bring her there nevertheless," said Sim.

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