Scammer with a conscience?

The scammer even congratulated the ‘person who escaped’ for being smart enough to detect his bluff

graphic by MZUKRI

“THEY are in trouble because they are lazy. That’s all.”

The caller, who was believed to be part of a “Macau Scam” syndicate, responded nonchalantly when he was reprimanded by the person he’d failed to deceive in a rather intriguing telephone conversation.

The “lazy people” that he was referring to were mainly the victims who might have lost millions over the years due to the scam.

The “scammer” even congratulated the “person who escaped” for being smart enough to detect his bluff.

“Kalau kau pandai, kau tak kena tipu dengan aku (if you’re smart enough, you won’t fall for it),” he said, before he continued to justify his actions.

“Please tell your relatives to be more aware and not to entertain any of such calls,” he said.

The “scammer” said the gang only prey on people who might have something to hide.

“Aku tipu orang yang leka dan cuai (I only swindled those who are not alert or aware).”

Perhaps, he believed that he was doing the world a favour, as he continued his lecture indignantly.

“Those who fell for the scheme are mainly people with guilt. They might have received some unclean money, too, and that is why it is easier to get them. If they are clean, and they do not have anything to hide, no matter how much money they have in their account, they would not fall for it,” he said as part of his wise advice.

“Jangan lah bagi peluang kat orang macam kita orang (don’t allow people like us to have the upperhand),” he said.

One could detect the righteousness in his tone, as he continued his “counselling session”.

It is rather amazing to hear the lecture from a “scammer”, who sounded pretty level-headed, about how the whole deceptive scheme worked.

He was also pretty confident that those who had been detained as part of an extensive investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) throughout the past week would be free soon.

He also blamed the government which seemed to have created the conducive environment for business to thrive.

In fact, he said, most of the numbers that the gang obtain are mainly from insiders within the system.

Best of all, the “scammer” also admitted that what he was doing was bad. He said sooner or later, bad things would happen to him as the money he made out of cheating people had no “berkat” (blessing).

In the earlier part of the conversation, when the “victim” somehow began to indicate that he knew what was happening and that the call was merely a scam, the scammer did not seem to be unfazed.

In fact, he even warned that he would target the other person’s parents as the next victim.

“Tunggu lah nanti mak bapak encik saya dapat (You just wait. I’ll get to your parents soon),” he boldly announced.

The whole phone conversation went on for a good 13 minutes. The “scammer” started out by introducing himself as a police officer from Ibu Pejabat Polis Kontinjen Sabah and he claimed that a package with illegal content was sent to Sabah and that it had some legal repercussions.

In hindsight, the whole phone conversation could also be an indication about the moral compass of our entire society.

The fact that an alleged “conman” could actually talk his way out of a sticky situation by giving life lessons to his prey should be a warning that the whole country is really going topsy-turvy.

Many could no longer differentiate between a bribe and a gift. In fact, people these days seem to be rather comfortable with scratching each other’s back for mutual benefit.

Since the whole deal fell through, the scammer also elaborated quite a bit on the syndicate that he belonged to.

He said while many thought that the head honcho, who was detained last week, was not really the main man. He claimed that the whole thing is a multilayered scheme that involved more powerful people whom he said might just get away.

MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki admitted in a recent report that the syndicate had been protected from government enforcers.

The agency recently arrested 11 locals and one Chinese national, all of whom are being investigated for graft under the MACC Act 2009, among others.

Eight government officials from an enforcement agency had also been arrested for protecting the syndicate.

Azam said the syndicate has been operating for years, without any action from enforcement agencies.

MACC also seized 730 bank accounts with RM80 million, RM5 million in cash and 28 luxury cars that included a Bentley, Rolls Royce, Ferrari and Lamborghini.

The case caught a lot of attention after a celebrity was hauled by the MACC to assist in the investigation.

The celebrity, who is known for his lavish lifestyle with various videos showing his wealth on social media, was said to be among several other famous faces who had benefitted from the scam in an elaborate money-laundering scheme.

“We already have a list, so please come to us before we come get you,” Azam said.

Still, despite all the reports and the detention of quite a number of individuals, the confident scammer did not seem to be that perturbed, as he was confident that the case would also go away soon! Let’s pray very hard that he is wrong…

Zainal Alam Kadir is the executive editor at The Malaysian Reserve.