Malaysian alternative rock band Estranged almost disbanded after getting scammed by a con woman named Eziana Abd Aziz who impersonated as Apple Music’s Publicity Manager and invited the band to perform at a non-existent Apple Music Festival in London back in December 2016.
At a press conference held for the media today, the band confessed that they felt embarrassed and demotivated after realising that they were cheated, and thought of “taking a break from this whole thing”.
|(L-R) Nor “Enha” Hanafi. Rich Gimbang, and Din Hormatov.|
“It is very demotivating and embarrassing because she’s not a foreigner, she’s a local,” said vocalist Rich Gimbang.
“She gave us false hopes and the news about us going to London is already known nationwide.”
“A lot of our friends from the media and music industry were supporting us, telling us how proud they were of us because we were going to bring Malaysia’s name to an international level, but when we found out that everything was a lie, it broke our hearts,” he continued.
|The band members at the press conference.|
According to Estranged’s lawyer, Mr. Thomas Philip, Eziana is a not a typical con woman as many of the documents that she forged seems very legit, including the emails from the High Commission of Malaysia, London, as well as the U.K. Visa and Immigration documents, the banking payment slip from Credit Suisse, the Credit Suisse claim forms, and the Apple Music invitation itself.
|Estranged together with their lawyers.|
Going through the timeline of events, the band members said they met Eziana in October after she approached their rhythm guitarist Din Hormatov via Facebook.
After getting offered to perform in London, the band had spent a lot to prepare for their overseas trip.
They even rejected offers for shows and performances in Malaysia, thus having no income at all during that month itself and the months following that
Estranged also claimed that Eziana had previously conned several U.K. artistes and she even used the band’s name to invite other Malaysian artistes to perform in London as well.
|Photo of Eziana Abd Aziz.|
As for now, Eziana had already deactivated several of her accounts including her Whatsapp and emails, and although her Facebook account still exists, she is unreachable and has blocked all of the band members from her account.
A lawyer’s email has already been sent to Ms. Eziana and the case shall be taken to high court on Monday, 16 January 2017, 9am where a damages claim amounting to more than RM100,000 is being seeked.