'IMF grant' scam nets victim as elderly businessman loses RM3.8m

'IMF grant' scam nets victim as elderly businessman loses RM3.8m
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JOHOR BARU (Feb 15): Love scam, Macau scam, Nigerian scam and now there is another one — IMF grant scam,

Enticed by an offer of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) assistance grant to the tune of US$150,000 (RM605,000), an elderly businessman parted ways with RM3.8 million over the course of July till December last year.

Relating the case, Johor Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) chief ACP Mohd Salleh Abdullah said the 74-year-old victim became acquainted with a man going by the name of "Freddie Khoo" on Facebook before continuing their friendship via WhatsApp (number used in the scam +14697370743).

Mohd Salleh said "Freddie Khoo" made the US$150,000 IMF assistance grant offer to the businessman and asked the latter to make an advance payment first before he could get the financial aid.

“The victim made an initial payment of RM12,800 and thereafter the suspect raised the grant amount to  US$900,000 (RM3.632 million) so that he would pay more to secure it.

“From July till December last year, the victim made 64 transactions into 10 bank accounts totalling RM3,811,300 only to be told by the suspect that the grant had been terminated and that he (the victim) had to make a fresh application,” he said in a statement here today.

Mohd Salleh said the victim felt cheated on not getting the grant as promised and subsequently lodged a police report at the Tampoi police station yesterday (Feb 14).

He added that police were investigating the case and advised the public not to easily believe individuals they just got to know and to check their backgrounds first, in cases like this with Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).