A shopping mall in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Photo: Google Maps

A 28-year-old Malaysian man has made a public appeal on his Facebook page after allegedly being hypnotized into paying an Indonesian scammer 1,600 ringgit (US$400) for a fake iPhone in a shopping mall in Johor Bahru on Monday evening.

The victim surnamed Lin told a China Press reporter that after leaving a washroom in the mall, he was stopped by a 180-centimeter-tall man who spoke Indonesian and pushed against the wall in a quiet corner.

He said the man tapped Lin’s shoulder, stared deep into his eyes for more than five seconds, and showed him what he said was an iPhone 8 Plus, a device that retails for more than 3,000 ringgit in Malaysia.

The scammer kept turning the device on and off, trying to convince Lin that it was not a fake. However, Lin was not interested and walked away, as he already had an iPhone.

He said the man then chased after him sprayed him with some sort of gas with a strong odor of perfume and alcohol. Lin said he became confused and handed the man 1,600 ringgit from his wallet for the device, which turned out to be a product manufactured in China.

He warned the public to stay alert always, even in shopping malls, adding that inhaling this spray would prevent people from thinking properly.