Financial Thriller Unveiled: A Journey Through the Labyrinth of a Loan Scam
ABC Sdn Bhd, a vibrant retail business in Malaysia, recently encountered a thrilling financial tale. Faced with a short-term cash crunch from purchases made in the latter half of 2023, they embarked on a quest for a financial lifeline. Cue the entrance of "A Bank" and their tantalizing fast loan advertisement.
The company dove headfirst into the online application process, eagerly filling out forms and expecting a standard banking experience. Soon after, a mysterious "bank officer" materialized through a phone call, asking for classified documents and weaving a narrative of loan approval.
Intrigued, the directors played along. The "bank officer" produced a stamp duty certificate, directing them to transfer funds to a personal account. Curiosity piqued, the directors questioned the rationale behind sending money to an individual rather than the bank itself. The reply came with a tale – the individual was a "runner" specially employed to resolve stamp duty concerns.
The directors, caught in this financial drama, paid the stamp duty to the individual, believing it would expedite the loan transfer. The plot thickened when the "bank officer" claimed the loan was momentarily stalled due to their credit rating. To remedy this, a daring request was made – deposit RM5,000 into another account to rectify the credit rating, with a promise of reimbursement alongside the approved loan.
Suspicion loomed, but excitement trumped doubt as the directors saw the pending loan amount in their account. Ready to take the plunge, they hesitated only momentarily. One director, wise and cautious, suggested consulting me, Jia Sheng, before proceeding.
The directors reached out, sharing the unfolding saga. My advice was unequivocal – refrain from making any further payments. Verify the legitimacy of the loan with A Bank in person. Standard procedures dictate that stamp duty is paid post-signing of the loan agreement, not before. Moreover, credit ratings are assessed before loan approval, rendering the RM5,000 payment unjustifiable.
Following my counsel, the directors physically visited A Bank the next day, unraveling the scam. Swiftly, a police report was filed, and in a poignant twist, they encountered another victim at the police station – a girl who had fallen prey to the same deceit.
This cautionary tale serves as a reminder to stay vigilant against scams. If in doubt, feel free to reach out to me. Remember, I prefer WhatsApp over calls during meetings.
Ten Jia Sheng
15 Jan 2024