SARIKEI: When a stranger approaches you to ask where the museum is, but another comes along and provides the answer, you could be on the brink of being tricked.
Several people here had been approached by a stranger asking “Mana muzium?” (Where’s the museum?) then another comes along who answered “Muzium di Kuching, tidak ada di sini” (Museum in Kuching, not here).
A 51-year-old farmer from Kampung Paloh , Seruja Jin claimed he was deceived into parting with RM1,200 to tricksters using this script recently.
According to Seruja, when he left a hotel at Abdul Razak Road here on the morning of Aug 10, a stranger from a coffeeshop across the street asked him “Mana muzium?” in Indonesian accent.
Before he could answer this first question, the stranger asked him for his religion, and he replied that he was a Muslim.
At this juncture, the stranger showed him an object which he claimed had been embedded in the trunk of a tree he felled recently.
Seruja was looking at the object which looked like a curled up dog when a second stranger came near and seemed interested in their conversation.
The second stranger, as if he had heard their conversation, answered the first stranger’s question by informing him that the museum is in Kuching, not here: “Muzium tak ada di sini, di Kuching.”
The first stranger whom Seruja described as medium built, in his forties, then claimed that in his dream, an old man told him the object had super curing power for all sicknesses, and could bring fortune to the owner.
Someone had offered him RM3,000 for the mysterious object, but unfortunately he was not the right person to own it, being a non-Muslim, he said. The second stranger offered RM1,000 for the object, but withdrew it after realising he was a Christian.
The first stranger then pointed out that Seruja, being a Muslim, was the right person to own it.
Seruja was impressed after seeing that the object prevented the owner from being sliced with a sharp razor blade.
The stranger asked Seruja how much he had with him and in his savings account, to which he replied that he had RM1,200.
The stranger agreed to part with the object for that amount, and agreed to wait for Seruja to withdraw the money.
Seruja went to the bank around 10am and handed over the cash to the stranger.
He realised that he had been tricked after he heard of a similar experience by his friends.
Furthermore nothing unusual had happened to him since he owned the object.
Seruja said he came to the press to tell his story to alert the public to the scam.