Rental Scams Have Resurfaced, With Scammers Proactively Messaging Tenants


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Rental Scams on the Rise: Deceptive “Filial Daughter-in-law” Preys on Unsuspecting Tenants

In the current landscape filled with WhatsApp scams, rental scams, and love scams, the boundaries between legitimate transactions and fraudulent activities have become increasingly blurred.

But have you heard of the “filial daughter-in-law scam”?

In a recent case, a woman devised a scheme to con potential renters out of their money, weaving a tale of impending marriage and offering to help her future in-laws find suitable tenants.

However, her grand promises turned out to be empty, leaving a trail of about ten victims in her wake, with most of them being couples from different parts of Malaysia, including Penang and Perak.

“Becoming a Filial Daughter-in-law” – A Cunning Ruse

The woman, who operated under the alias “Becca,” advertised available rooms within a four-bedroom unit located in the Sungai Kangkar area.

She claimed to be on the brink of marriage and shared her plans to move into a new apartment with her fiancé.

In a bid to win trust and appeal to Asian sensibilities of potential tenants, she extended her assistance to her future in-laws, pledging to help them find tenants and even offering to provide new beds if required.

Mr Hong and his girlfriend, expressing interest in the accommodation, were drawn in by Becca’s pitch and agreed to rent a room.

Becca, however, insisted on an upfront deposit equivalent to one month’s rent, amounting to 950 MYR.

Cautious due to prior rental scams, Mr Hong and his girlfriend proposed splitting the deposit, paying half initially and the remainder upon contract signing.

They also diligently conducted research to verify the unit’s history, discovering discrepancies in the owner’s name and requesting corrections.


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Sounds like that’s safe enough right?

Scammers Never Have Enough

Just when they believed everything was proceeding smoothly, Becca began concocting excuses. Uh-oh.

Mr Hong sensed something was amiss and issued a stern warning, threatening to report her unless she provided a clear response.

Becca promised to call them with an explanation but never followed through.

Frustrated, Mr Hong and his girlfriend decided to visit the unit, only to find it vacant.

They promptly reported the scam to the police.

In a twist of fate, Mr Hong also reached out to Becca’s supposed fiancé, who claimed to be oblivious to her actions and declared himself another victim.

It turned out that they had already broken up.

But here’s the kicker—Becca’s very own mother was unaware of her daughter’s deceitful deeds.

In attempts to coax Mr Hong, Becca claimed to be in Johor Bahru and promised to personally explain the situation alongside her mother, coincidentally on the day the couple was supposed to move into the unit.


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However, Becca was nowhere to be found on that day, and only her mother appeared.

Mr Hong explained to Shin Min Daily News that even her mother seemed unclear about Becca’s actions and admitted that they currently lacked the means to repay the owed amount.

In addition to this, Mr Hong heard that the same mother had also met with over ten other victims, promising to cover for her “filial” daughter, agreeing to pay a staggered payment plan until the debt is fully settled – for over ten people.

More Victims Emerge as Expected

Further investigation unearthed at least seven more victims through social media platforms such as Facebook and Xiaohongshu.

In today’s digital age, social media serves as a powerful tool for both information gathering and, unfortunately, exploitation for scams.

Some victims shared their harrowing experiences, hinting at the possibility of over ten victims in total.


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Mr Hong has since reached an agreement with his current landlord, securing an additional month to find alternative accommodation.

However, he remains vigilant and intends to conduct future rental transactions directly with property owners to evade falling prey to scams once more.

Exploiting Compassion: A Common Thread Among Scammers

In a recurring pattern, some victims found themselves compelled to seek temporary refuge in hotels after arriving to discover the property in disarray.

At least three victims reported this predicament to the authorities.

Miss Xie, another victim at just 19 years old, shared her ordeal.


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On 26 May, she posted a housing inquiry on the social media platform Xiaohongshu.

She subsequently received a private message from someone identified as “Becca,” who accompanied her to view a unit within the same complex.

In most situations, proactiveness might be a good thing. But when it comes to scams, a proactive scam might just be the most stealthy scam.

Miss Xie willingly paid a 650 MYR deposit, with the understanding that she could move in on 6 July.

However, Becca began providing various excuses, such as the need for Miss Xie’s work permit, her identity card number, and pending approval from the public housing authority.

Just prior to her intended move-in date, Becca abruptly claimed that the electrical box had sustained damage. 

She arranged for Miss Xie to stay in another apartment in July, requiring an additional payment of 1,300 MYR.

Later, on 31 Oct, when Miss Xie attempted to move into the unit again, Becca cited electrical problems at the property and directed her to a hotel.


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Miss Xie was compelled to pay an additional 1,000 MYR for this temporary accommodation.

In frustration, Miss Xie recounted that Becca had even borrowed 200 MYR from her, claiming to have an urgent need.

As a result of Miss Xie’s compassion, she had already been scammed of 2,600 MYR before she could even move in.

As of now, three victims have reported the scam to the police.

Some victims managed to recover their money, complicating efforts to pursue a criminal case.

It appears that Becca may have employed funds from new victims to repay earlier debts, perpetuating a cycle of deceit.

Despite efforts to contact Becca, all attempts have proven unsuccessful.

Authorities have confirmed that an investigation into the case is underway, as reported by Shin Min Daily News.