Malaysian authorities are warning fans against the proliferation of a K-pop syndicate online. Authorities have so far arrested several masterminds of the scams but still want the public to become careful lest they become victims of unscrupulous entities online.
According to a report by Malaysian Digest, the K-pop syndicate preys on fans by sending them private messages through the official Facebook posting of concerts, making it appear that the messages are from official representatives of the label or the promoter. One the victims was a student who said that she was approached by a certain individual named Wong Mei Kei about a mini album event of K-pop idol group Red Velvet.
The victim said that Wong claimed to be affiliated with Ticket Charge and had tickets available. After sending RM 180 for her ticket, she was messaged by the account holder that she would need to deposit yet another RM 360 to purchase two more tickets before her first ticket would be released.
The account holder named Tan You Shen reportedly claimed that another buyer named Amy will return her money to her but the victim refused, sensing that there was something wrong with the transaction. Her hunch was further strengthened when Tan and the alleged buyer kept harassing her to deposit the money, prompting her to report the incident to the police.
Malaysian authorities warned the public about similar scams since the recent incident was not an isolated incident. They said that five scams with a similar modus operandi were reported last year where two women were scammed for RM 2,241 to purchase concert tickets.
Malaysian Commercial Crimes Investigation Department Director Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani, in an interview with Malay Mail, disclosed that the police has so far solved 43 cases of online scamming amounting to RM 950,000. For its part, Universal Music Malaysia, the label in charge of the Red Velvet event, advised vis official post that fans should not transact with third parties and only purchase tickets through official channels announced by the company.