New Facebook Friend? Beware of online love-rat and online fraud/scam
So I have a friend who shared her family's unfortunate experience about this typical FB Fraud that could happen to anyone. I've included the personal sharing below so just scroll down for the whole story. I found this really important for people around us so I've compile the story into this post.
If you really love your family and friends, please share this out as I hope this reach to as many people as it can to prevent further online scam.
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Below are true story a.k.a. 'kisah benar' by Joyce and her family regarding the Facebook Scam/Fraud:
Although this is something very personal & extremely embarrassing for the family but I think it's only fair that I speak up for the victim, my own mother who recently got herself into an online scam.
Now, no one is perfect & people do make terrible mistakes. I honestly do feel sorry for her but she really deserves it.
What's done is done & right now, we need to be strong for her. She has suffered a great ordeal & I'm sure this is one hell of a wake up call for her & to all of us.
In all seriousness, everyone should know the consequences of it all & hopefully with my sharing, others won't fall victim to situations like this & be blinded by greed.
Let me be clear, this could happen to anyone close to us when you least expect it.
How did it all started?
She had met this random guy known as Chris Geoffrey, a British citizen who is an engineer on Facebook sometime in April this year.
Now this was the image being used & shared with mother. It's also a possibility that this person's image / identity could have been stolen as well by these scammers.
We can't be certain and there's nothing we can do about it.
The account on FB has also been deactivated.
He started chatting up with mother on FB and eventually it led to giving him her contact number so he could WhatsApp her.
In that period of time, he was also sharing his plans about making a trip down to Sarawak to look for a job.
Since he didn't know anyone in Malaysia, he conveniently befriended mother over Facebook.
Over the course of 4 months, he even shared with her an 'Investment' plan which in turn can help earn $50,000 easily and I cannot believe mother fell for it!
He told her that he had to pay a lot of money on tax alone & all that crap on how his cheque was put on hold by some ministry of foreign affairs.
...all the sob stories to get mother feeling sorry for him.
Obviously the next thing he did was to ask mother for help with some money & promised to returned it the moment his payment clears up with supporting documents & proof.
He shared with mother the amount, successfully convincing her to be part of this investment where she would need to put in RM25,000.
Mother paid off a small amount initially and when it wasn't enough, he asked for more in order to settle some tax & transfer fee during his time in Sarawak.
Stories about how he wasn't allowed to open a bank account here in Malaysia. All that bullshit story.
He then told mother that he needed to travel back to UK (with more bullshit reasons about his daughter being sick too) to transfer his own money into the funds because it wasn't enough for the investment.
He informed mother that he will liaise & instruct someone from Standard Chartered bank in the UK to make the necessary transaction & to help open up an account for her in the UK to avoid tax & shit so that both their money could be transferred to mother's personal account.
I really don't know what happened here and I couldn't brain how this transaction thing works & how was it relevant to have mother opening an account in the UK.
That other person whom Chris had apparently instructed to contact mother is known as Lambert Lumeny, an International Remittance Officer who works in Standard Chartered Bank, London.
Lambert contacted mother via email and gave her specific instructions on what needs to be done in order for the transaction to go through by opening a bank account in the UK first.
Here's the thread which I dug out from mother's email.
A dodgy email with a header like this...
Email from Lambert (Standard Chartered guy) to mother requesting for her to fill up her personal details on a fake form which was attached to this email.
The email was terribly written!
|Don't ever reveal your personal details through phone call, email or SMS!|
Fake form alert and it was in JPG format!
With this form, they have requested to attach a copy of the passport or driving licence which mother did unfortunately. She even provided them a photocopy of her driving licence!
Talk about identity theft. Personal details were provided!
The email also stated that this is just a temporary account which has a due date.
...and which bank would provide a person's username & password via email to enable a person to access ones account via online banking service. Those things should be P&C!
The reply to Lambert showing that the payment has been made.
The next email informing mother that she could activate her account and that she needs to pay the balance of the remaining 50%.
Way too many red flags:-
- Adding / talking to a complete stranger on Facebook.
- Talks about investment with a complete stranger without seeing any form of plan.
- Giving away contact number to a total stranger just because you think they genuinely wanted to be friends.
- Stranger asking for help financially.
- Website address, forms, e-mail address are all out of place.
- Emails requesting for more money!
...and to think mother would know better.
OMG...I'm super pissed off!
- What kind of Web URL is that?
- Have to pay another $7,000 USD (equivalent to about MYR 28,300) for International Bank Transfer Charges to enable access to have the funds transferred?
- Who the hell disclose password & pin numbers via email? It's suppose to be P&C!
- Hard core insurance? Are you fucking kidding me? What's a hard core insurance? These scammers sure know how to fucking joke.
Pardon my vulgarity...
I'm extremely speechless and Dayre-ing about this is making me so mad.
|Pay attention on the url if it is the legit correct url website|
Note the URL add being used http://www.sc.com/en/
|Typical online bank fraud website that looks almost the same as original. Always check the URL|
vs the website URL given by Lambert
A fake site: www.scint.96.It
An exact copy from the website above.
How true is this website, I'm not sure because when I Googled for Standard Chartered Bank UK...
..this popped up.
Now this should be the legit site as it's similar with the rest of the other countries in terms of website format. Which should be standardize.
I've no idea why mother was so blind sided to these things.
I have no idea what mother was thinking at that point of time.
She went to bank in the final 50% thinking that with this payment, they would be able to release the transaction once & for all.
But it didn't stop there! Lambert insisted that she needs to pay the tax money of $7,000 USD which was stated in the email in order for the transaction to be released.
That was when it hit her because the amount was not small.
She went to S.C Bank to check only to realise that she had been scammed.
Mother was feeling completely lost & told dad about the horrible blunder that had taken place. They made a police report on Friday night, 26th Aug but of course there's nothing much they can do.
First off, the bank would need a warrant in order to disclose the bank account details and for the police to issue one, they would need the necessary approvals & documentations which would take 3 blady months to obtain.
By then, those scammers are long gone.
Mother tried to play along when Chris & Lambert contacted her yesterday evening, telling them she would need more time to find the remaining amount to settle since it was a large sum of money.
They called her at least 3 more times again after but did not pick up.
The money is not coming back that's for sure but I hope this would change her outlook & perspective on things from here on out.
It's a very painful experience even for me, having to see mother in such a state.
|People who want to get everything all at once usually end up getting nothing in life - Sunday Adelaja|
Let me leave you with this...
" 1 Timothy 6:10 "
"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, in their eagerness to get rich, have wandered away from the faith and caused themselves a lot of pain."
Contact Details of the Scammer. Beware!
Chris Geoffrey's Contact Details:
Local: +6016 942 7590
Lambert's Contact Details:
Should anyone come across their details, just be careful!
This is just one type of online scam and fraud that anyone of use would encounter. There are so much more version of story that people lie to you just to make their story sounds convincing to you. The scammer are willing to invest time (even four months or more) to build trust and relationship with you until you would want to help them even when you never meet them before.
I've heard this story but I never believe it can happen to someone we love without notice.
I've heard this story but I never believe it can happen to someone we love without notice.
If you really love your family and friends, please SHARE this out as I hope this reach to as many people as it can for online scam prevention. I wouldn't want to see any further victims especially from my close friends and family. You too right?
Thanks Joyce for willing to let me share this and you may read her original post here. Your sharing will definitely help other people from falling into the same trap. If you think your friend is facing the same situation or even start to borrow money from you, share this story with them before it is too late.
PS: If you have time, do read this article in Chinese - "是的，我遇上愛情騙子". She shared about her unfortunate experience of online fraud too.
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