We will look at the modus operandi used by Lidt Cooperation Advertising Sdn Bhd or Lidl Cooperation Advertising Sdn Bhd. Both names are fake names used to trap victims. The modus operandi used by this company is like what the author has detailed in the first and second series published on the smartinvestor.com.my website.
In the first series, the author details how this fraud syndicate offers job opportunities to subscribe to channels on YouTube or as a Shopee product promotion assistant, while in the second series, the author details the type of fraud that occurs on Telegram first by hacking accounts and stealing someone’s identity, second, NORDFX Trader’s Investment scheme that promises returns that are too perfect to believe.
These two series were written based on the author’s experience, who disguised himself as an individual looking for job opportunities and accidentally found this scam and decided to investigate further.
This paper is a continuation of the previous two series. What makes this sharing a little different is that it is the experience of a victim who experienced this event himself. The victim also agreed to share his experience on the condition that his identity be kept confidential. The victim gave permission and consent to publish his experience as one of the steps to raise awareness among the community about the existence of fraud syndicates like this.
Here is what she shared:
1. The employer (Lidt Cooperation Advertising Sdn Bhd or Lidl Cooperation Advertising Sdn Bhd) contacted me via WhatsApp, saying they got my personal information on JobStreet (Picture 1, left). I am trying to get a job opportunity because, with my current income, I cannot make any savings at all.
2. I did not find any information related to their organization using the Google search engine, such as company profile and phone number. Searches on JobStreet, LinkedIn, and Indeed also show similar results.
3. They will bait the victim to do a simple task by asking the victim to “LIKE” several videos on YouTube; usually, the victim will be asked to “LIKE” three different videos and will get RM15 as payment for their work. The victim will receive this RM15 within a few hours (Picture 2, right).
Picture 1: Left (Phone number used to invite and contact the victim), right (conversation with the individual who invited the victim)
4. There is no contract (black and white) for this job. Not to mention the terms and conditions imposed by the employer on the employee (this is a sign that we can probably pay attention, there is something wrong here).
5. No interview process occurs via phone call or online (Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Team, and others). Claiming this job is only a full-time or part-time job (also a sign that we may notice something wrong here).
6. Victims will be given a Telegram link to contact their customer service officer, Steven (Picture 3, left).
7. Victims will be put into a group on Telegram, to begin with. Steven will give the victim a task categorized as “PROJECT”. Each task will be paid. Victims will be deceived and blinded by receiving payment money from their bank just by giving a “like” to the video only.
8. The victim will be given an assignment. And the link for the assignment is as follows: (https://m.lidlcooperation.com/home). But, for this task, the victim will be asked to pay a sum of money as a deposit. In this case, customer relations officer Steven will determine the deposit amount. The victim just follows what Steven instructs; this task has three transactions. The victim was not told how much of the deposit needed to be withdrawn until the victim reached RM600 as a deposit.
Picture 3: Left (Victim introduced to customer relations officer – Steven), right (Victim invited to join Telegram group)
9. The victim will continue to be tied to the task because this system has been designed to trap the victim, and they will not be able to escape. This task starts from task 1, and the victim is asked to give “like” to several videos on YouTube. This will continue until the 18th task, which relates to giving “like” to the video. At this stage, after the victim is included in the group on Telegram, several fake accounts that resemble normal individuals are created to give the impression that other people are involved in this work and are not alone.
The engagement from these fake accounts is very active as if creating healthy competition among participating members. Until at some point, the victims will feel left behind if they do not participate in their activities because they look very convincing. However, this account is operated by a bot that resembles/mimics the way of normal human conversation.
After that, their customer relations officer will ask for another deposit of RM150. And asking for a second deposit of RM2k (this is also a sign that we can watch out for because there is unlikely to be any job opportunity that asks us to give a deposit of money in advance to get paid for our work).
10. I do not have a sum of money of that value. And the RM600 money that I had taken out in advance to pay the deposit could not be taken out either. If I fail to pay the deposit of RM2k, they will not care about the deposit I have already paid since the beginning. It will be considered burnt just like that.
11. When I give a message/chat to all the individuals in the group, the response to their message is like coming out of the “bot”. Even using Malay language is not capable, even using pictures as if they are local people. They will give a reply, “I don’t even know you”. The conversation in the chat room is from the “bot” itself to create a normal atmosphere in the chat group, and there is nothing odd about it. Until then, their employees warned me that if you don’t want to commit to a task, stop bothering others. This means their fraud has been exposed, and I have discovered they are scammers (Picture 4, right).
12. They have kicked/removed me from the Telegram group. After I tried to contact all the individuals in the group.
13. I tried to call back the WhatsApp number that offered me a job before. I need help because they have blocked my phone number.
In conclusion, hope those out there are always vigilant. Undoubtedly, with the rising cost of living, monthly commitments, and other things that are out of bounds, we need more than real work to make any savings for emergency days. This is added when we work in a big city like Kuala Lumpur, where the cost of living here is higher than in other cities throughout Malaysia.
However, looking for sustenance and side income, we must always be vigilant and careful and take advice from this experience. I was blinded by easy money; easy enough work made me lose judgment and become a victim. When faced with a job offer that is too perfect to happen in the real world, refer to your closest friends, and don’t make decisions recklessly without thinking about the consequences of the actions we take.
I also feel sorry for the pictures of individuals used as a fraud tool that is placed as profile pictures of bots. A little advice from me, don’t share our personal photos excessively; two or three photos may be enough because there is a possibility that irresponsible parties will use personal photos as a fraud tool without our knowledge.
*The Malay version of this article has been published “Sindiket Penipuan Peluang Pekerjaan: Lidt Cooperation Advertising Sdn Bhd Atau Lidl Cooperation Advertising Sdn Bhd”.
About the Author
Rashid Ating. Researcher at the Department of Economics, Faculty of Business and Economics, and Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS), Universiti Malaya (UM), Kuala Lumpur.
More articles by Rashid Ating:
- Patterns And Types Of Cybercrime In Malaysia From 2016 To 2021: Part 1
- Patterns And Types Of Cybercrime In Malaysia From 2016 To 2021: Part 2
- Scammers Do Not Take Time Off: How To Stay Alert To Online Scams During Recession
- Kajian Perancangan Persaraan Dalam Kalangan Penjawat Awam Di Malaysia. Juga Perbandingan Malaysia Dengan Kesatuan Eropah Dan Negara Maju Yang Lain
- 6 Tips Persediaan Perancangan Persaraan Dalam Kalangan Penjawat Awam