MELAKA: Residents here have lost close to RM280,000 since 2019 in their zeal to own high-end smartphones, says the police.
Melaka Commercial Crime chief Supt E. Sundra Rajan said 73 cases of fraud involving the purchase of smartphones were reported between 2019 and 2021.
The worst year was when 56 cases were reported in 2020, while four cases have been recorded since the start of this year.
“Victims were lured by offers of discounted smartphones through online deals, ” he said yesterday.
Supt Sundra said most of these “deals” were made through Instagram (41 cases), followed by 12 cases via a local classified ads platform, nine cases each via Facebook and WhatsApp, while two cases were through WeChat.
Supt Sundra Rajan said a 19-year-old female factory employee was the latest to fall prey to such a scam.
He said the victim lodged a report at the Alor Gajah police station on Tuesday after her bid to own an Apple iPhone went awry.
“She lost RM2,100 after depositing the sum into two bank accounts as instructed by the conman, ” he said.
Supt Sundra Rajan added that preliminary investigation reveals that the suspect had seven previous police reports lodged against him where he used the same tactic of selling non-existent phones.