Thursday, March 21

Shop owner left RM100 poorer in new scam involving book on Sarawak

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MIRI: A local business owner has become embroiled in what appears to be a latest scam tactic involving payment for an advertisement that he never took out.

A local business operator, who only wanted to be identified as Siaw, told The Borneo Post that a man came to his shop demanding for a payment of RM100 for an advertisement in a book titled ‘Sarawak 55 years of Independence Within Malaysia’.

“I was shocked by such a demand and decided to ask him to leave.

However, the man showed me the advertisement printed in the book, saying that he had proof and insisted that Siaw pay him.

After several minutes arguing, Siaw paid him the demanded payment, as he just wanted the person to leave his shop.

Text found within the book that appears to have been copied from old newspaper articles.

The Borneo Post went through the 234-page book and found that apart from the history of Sarawak, along with outdated photos and outdated information, it appears that 90 percent of the pages are filled with advertisements.

The text within the book also seemed to have been copied from old newspaper articles and other historical texts.

The receipt which Siaw received after the payment, was from a company dubbed ‘Scientex Publication House’, with an address located in Kuching but without a phone number.

An online search on social media as well as search engines turned up no results.

The Borneo Post also reached out to several companies advertising in the book, only to be told that each and every one of them had no knowledge of the book or its contents, much less having taken out an advertisement in it.

Siaw also mentioned that every advertisement from his company was handled by him, and only with his approval.

“The photo of the advertisement seems to have been taken from outside of my shop. Even the contact numbers on the advertisement are outdated,” he said.

Advertisements within the book belonging to companies that had no idea about the book, much less advertised in it.

Siaw had posted about the incident on his Facebook account, and he was surprised that friends from as far as Kuching also responded with the same experience.

“Seems like the syndicate has moved from Kuching to Miri,” he said.

S4S co-founder, Erick Chin was also surprised when told about the book by The Borneo Post, saying that a police report will be lodge this afternoon.