Facebook con artist steals $366,000 from woman

Summary:A woman recently lost hundreds of thousands to a Facebook con artist.

A Malaysian woman recently forked over RM1.1 million (approximately $366,000) to a Facebook con artist. The man claimed he was a UK citizen who needed the unidentified woman's bank account in order to cash in a RM4.6 million ($1.53 million) contract he had with Petronas, Malaysia's national oil company. He explained to the victim he could not afford to pay stamp duty charges and insurance fees which he needed to get his agreement approved.

"The victim paid RM1.1 million via several transactions to the man between March 29 and April 19," Federal Commercial Crimes director Comm Datuk Wira Syed Ismail Syed Azizan said according to The Star. "She caved in when she heard his sob stories."

The woman contacted the local authorities after finally realizing she had been conned by her Facebook friend. Police arrested six male suspects in Kepong, all allegedly connected to the Facebook scam. Two were Nigerians, two were Bangladeshis, and two were Malaysian. Investigators only managed to recover RM15,000 in cash ($5,000) of the victim's money, although they also seized 18 ATM cards, seven cell phones, and a laptop.

Please remember that because Facebook is a much more social experience than email, a scammer's job is that much easier to execute. The same rules for the Internet apply on Facebook: never hand over any personal information to someone you don't know.

Topics: Networking, Banking, Enterprise Software, Social Enterprise, Telcos

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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