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South African, Cambodian couple apprehended for social media phishing

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Phnom Penh gendarmerie arrested a foreigner and his girl friend created fake facebook accounts to cheat people on June 15, 2019. Supplied

South African, Cambodian couple apprehended for social media phishing

Phnom Penh Military Police sent a South African and his Cambodian girlfriend to Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday for running social media scams that cheated people out of thousands of dollars.

Military Police spokesman Eng Hy told The Post on Monday that Phnom Penh personnel had worked on the case and sent the suspects to court. However, he declined further comment.

The 31-year-old South African and his 35-year-old Cambodian girlfriend created a number of fake Facebook accounts, promising victims large sums of money after they had transferred smaller amounts, the Phnom Penh Military Police Facebook page said on Monday.

One such account claimed to belong to an elderly retired US general who, being wealthy and without any family, was eager to help less fortunate Cambodian people.

One victim filed a complaint with Phnom Penh Military Police when the promised money failed to appear. Officers arrested the suspects last Tuesday. It was discovered that many others had fallen victim to the scam as well.

The victim who filed the complaint was first instructed to transfer $550 through e-payment providers Wing or True Money. They were then told to pay $5,300 to cover taxes. A third payment of $4,700 was further demanded as a service charge, Phnom Penh Military Police said.

“Scammers can cheat us when we are greedy. So I would like to use this case as a lesson for the public to be highly prudent. Don’t be greedy, don’t react enthusiastically to the promise of a reward or gift that has no clear source or history behind it.

“Bear in mind that nothing comes easily and without working for it. Please think carefully to avoid being tempted by cheats and getting scammed,” Phnom Penh Military Police chief Rath Sreang said on Facebook.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Y Rin on Monday declined to comment to The Post, referring questions to Deputy Prosecutor Ly Sophana, whom, however, could not be reached.

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