Confidence trickster does a number on businessman

KOTA KINABALU - A businessman who wanted distinctive numbers such as 018-8888888 for his handphone ended up almost RM8,000 (S$2,800) poorer.

The 58-year-old businessman spotted a newspaper advertisement put up by someone who had used the name "Phua". In it "Phua" offered for sale SIM card numbers that included 018-8888888 for RM3,000, 010-6888888 (RM2,000) and 019-9999999 (RM2,900).

The businessman called "Phua" on the number given in the advertisement, which was published on Jan 25.

Their deal was finalised on Aug 4 after the businessman banked in RM7,900 to an account.

Kota Kinabalu city police chief Asst Comm M. Chandra said the businessman realised that he had been conned when he could not contact "Phua" after receiving a parcel which contained a set of SIM cards with all the wrong numbers.

"The victim never met this 'Phua' and only dealt with him through the phone," said ACP Chandra.

The businessman lodged a police re­­port a day after he banked in the money.

ACP Chandra advised Malaysians to always verify information in advertisements.