There are scammers everywhere, preying on the unwary. Nobody is safe. Here are 3 scams, 2 of which happened to me personally, while the remaining happened to my friend, Melanie. The Carousel Scam I had some old books I wanted to get rid of, so I did what anyone would do: Post it for sale on the internet. Less than a day later, I received a personal message on my Carousell app. \u201c\u2026 Kindly WhatsApp me for direct purchase,\u201d said \u2018Silvino Baptiste\u2019 from \u2018Summerside\u2019. Maybe I\u2019m naive, or dumb; probably a combination of the two, because I did message him on WhatsApp. He replied almost instantly, expressing interest in buying my books. He then informed me that he was in Europe, but the item was for his partner living in Selangor. He gave me his partner\u2019s details and asked for mine in return. He needed my full name, bank name, account number and\u2026 email address? That should have set me off\u2026 BUT it didn\u2019t. I obliged, confirming my asking price of RM120 and making available the information he requested. Soon, my phone beeped again. It was an email from \u201cICICI Bank Ltd\u201d. \u201cDear Valuable Customer,\u201d began the email. \u201cWe honor to inform you that the sum of (RM 320.00 MYR) was transferred to you\u2026\u201d Silvino Baptiste was now Juan Caesan Bin Mohmad Sah. But there was more. \u201cAs mentioned in the receipt of Payment sent to earlier and as per our New Bank Payment policy, we have fully debited the total amount (RM320.00 MYR) refund the overcharge amount of (RM 200.00 MYR) sent to you back to our agent via bank transfer so as to enable us to activate your payment. So we want you to follow this procedure or else legal Action will be taking on you.\u201d Below, the sender provided an account name and an account number. Just as I was gawking at my laptop screen and trying to make sense of the situation, my handphone chimed again. It was a WhatsApp message from \u2018Silvino Baptiste\u2019. \u201cOMG!! Payment has been done and you suppose to have received confirmation msg inside your email inbox or spam inbox by now, pls check your email now for the confirmation msg and get back to me as soon as possible now,\u201d he said in the WhatsApp message. \u201cAs u can see that wrong amount of 320 transfer into your account instead of 120 and now the amount of 400 overpaid,\u201d he continued. \u201cDid u notice that?\u201d What I did notice was that 320 minus 120 does not equal 400. Fortunately, \u00a0Silvino did learn maths in school because he quickly corrected himself. \u201c200*\u201d He even sent me a receipt to prove his point. \u201cRight now the 320 has been available but been hold not to show until you get the refund of 200 overpaid back first to the bank agent RHB account given to you in the email now and once done just email my bank the transfer details and instantly they will unlock the 320 into your account within 5 minute without any delay\u2026\u201d Basically, he \u201cover-transferred\u201d RM200 to me. The bank was \u201cnotified\u201d of this \u00a0\u201cerror\u201d and decided to freeze the transaction instead of nullifying it completely. As a result, I was to transfer the money back to him or risk \u201clegal action\u201d. Also, unless I was to comply with the instructions, the bank wasn\u2019t going to release any money to me. I was confused and a little suspicious. Why would the bank operate this way? He wanted me to pay him money? My husband took one look and said with dead certainty, \u201cIt\u2019s a scam.\u201d Affirmed by his conviction, I replied Silvino, \u201cOk I\u2019ll refund as soon as I receive the money in my account.\u201d Within seconds, Silvino blocked me. A few days later, I logged into my Carousell account and tapped into the chat box. \u201cThe person you are talking to is suspended.\u201d The LDHN Scam It was the peak of MCO. The government had just announced that financial relief would be provided via LHDN, the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia. So when my friend Melanie received a call from a woman claiming to be an officer from LHDN, she didn\u2019t think to question it. According to the voice on the phone, Melanie had outstanding taxes amounting to RM32057 from a company under her name. \u201cWhat company under my name?\u201d Melanie asked, utterly puzzled. To the best of her knowledge, she didn\u2019t own a company. Apparently, in 2018, a company was established under Melanie\u2019s name in Penang. Melanie is from Selangor, and this call happened in 2020. The officer quoted her the tax number. When Melanie denied any knowledge or connection to this company, the officer told her that it was likely that her personal data had been compromised, and she had to make an in-person report in Penang that day itself by 12 noon! It was already 10am. Besides, MCO was in full swing then, and even if she could travel from Selangor to Penang within two hours, interstate travel was banned. \u201cI was so worried. The officer then told me that she could connect me to the police station in Penang since this was an emergency.\u201d \u201cIn hindsight, I realized that as she connected the line, there was zero waiting time and no beeping noise.\u201d The police officer heard Melanie\u2019s case and informed her that she would have to make the report through another number since the line she was on was not equipped to take her report. He then reassured her that all that was legit, and if she had her doubts, she could go online and check the Penang police station (IPD) phone number. \u201cThat was when I started to get suspicious. How did the LHDN officer get my phone number since it was a new one?\u201d \u201cSo I told the police officer my thoughts. In turn, he said that if the LHDN officer was bogus, she wouldn\u2019t have been able to connect me directly to the police.\u201d The police officer told Melanie that he would call her back through the appropriate line. She could also then tell from her caller ID that his number matched that of the website. \u201cHe called me. The number he used was exactly what it was on the official website, except there was a +89 in front of it.\u201d According to the officer, the +89 was a recording number to document her report for easy access in the future. \u201cAs I spoke to him, I googled the name of the LHDN officer and the fax number she gave me. There were websites with her name but nothing listing her as from the Cyberjaya HQ. I also googled \u2018Greenwood Trading Company\u2019 in Penang. The address she gave me was legit.\u201d That was when she started putting the information together. From a Google search, she saw articles about scammers who used the very SAME info to trick other people. Right there and then, Melanie confronted the police officer and told him that she knew that he was trying to con her. \u201cWhy are you doing this?\u201d she asked him. He did not deviate from his charade and even said that if she didn\u2019t trust him, she could just go to the police station to file a report. She ended the call. \u201cNot only did he waste my time, he also baited me with my anger over my personal data being exploited.\u201d The GST Scam I was minding my own business one day when my phone rang. I didn\u2019t recognize the number but picked up anyway. The voice on the line introduced himself as an officer of Imigresen Malaysia. He went on to inform me that I had 103 Samsung phones with immigration, and had accumulated unpaid GST (Goods and Services Tax) amounting to RM16072.38. Image via The Economic Times I was to pay the amount immediately or be present for a court hearing at the \u201cmahkamah tinggi\u201d (High Court). I did not buy 103 Samsung phones. I won\u2019t even buy 1 Samsung phone, let alone 103. Naturally, I had a lot of questions, so I bombarded him with them. \u201cWho did this? How much do you know about the person who did this? What should I do now?\u201d To placate me, he even gave me an actual address in Alor Setar where I supposedly live (I do not live in Alor Setar). Thoroughly fascinated, I whipped out a notebook and had him repeat all the information again slowly. Next, I repeated the information back to him, asking him to confirm that I had noted it all correctly. At the end of this, it became inherently obvious that it was a scam. So I unceremoniously ended the call. He had the audacity to call me back to scold me. I ended the call again. He probably hates me. The Moral To These Stories Are: Firstly, there are mean people in this world who would not think twice before wrenching our hard-earned cash from our unsuspecting hands. Secondly, always be suspicious. Thirdly, do not panic at the mention of legal action. Last but not least, be careful. For more stories like this, read: I Sniff Out Charity Scammers \u2013 Here\u2019s How We Sort Out the Real Cases From the Fake and Freelance Platform Scams \u2013 Why You Need to Go Through the Site\u2019s Terms & Conditions. Got a story to share? Send it in to email@example.com to be featured on In Real Life Malaysia!