Facebook Scam Swindles Woman for $366K

Dennis Faas's picture

A woman from Malaysia was recently cajoled out of $366,000 by a Facebook con artist, according to reports. And while several arrests have been made, most of the cash remains at large.

Overseas 'British Citizen' in Need of Bank Account

The man behind the scheme allegedly told the woman he was a British citizen in need of access to a bank account in order to cash in a $1.53 million contract with Malaysia's national oil and gas company, Petronas.

Here was the kicker: the man in question said he couldn't afford the service and insurance charges associated with the agreement, and was looking for assistance. Help in the matter would be rewarded, he assured the victim.

This and similar types of money laundering scams are often perpetuated via unsolicited email to millions of people on a daily basis. The only difference here is that this scam in particular was done through facebook.

Victim Caves to "Sob Stories"

"The victim paid... via several transactions to the man between March 29 and April 19," authorities told the media. "She caved in when she heard his sob stories."

The woman grew suspicious of the plan not long after agreeing to go along with the scheme. She later contacted local authorities, who subsequently arrested a total of six different suspects.

According to reports, the origins of the suspects are evenly divided between three nationalities: two are said to be from Nigeria, two from Bangladesh, and two more from Malaysia. (Source: zdnet.com)

Most of Cash Unaccounted For

Authorities report they've recovered only a small share of the original $366,000. However, they hope that 18 seized ATM cards, seven cell phones and a laptop may lead to the recovery of more of the victim's money.

Malaysian authorities are using the scam to encourage users world-wide be extra careful when discussing financial matters on Facebook. Malaysia's Federal Commercial Crimes director Comm Syed Ismail said it's especially important that young women be vigilant when interacting with people via social networking sites.

"These unscrupulous people prey on gullible girls through these websites," he said, adding: "Revealing your personal information on your Facebook wall is not a good idea." (Source: allfacebook.com)

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