Fraud by hypnosis, locally called gendam, is common in Southeast Asia. Almost everyday there's news about all types of gendam, using hypnosis through the phone or merely by patting someone on the back. The method of hypnosis can take many forms, but the outcome is the same. The victim is tricked into emptying their bank account and handing over their money to a stranger.
It's hard to explain gendam in scientific terms (To be honest, it's not very scientific). Experts believe that hypnosis and gendam have similar effects as transhipnosis, where the victim is not in charge of their own consciousness.
Gendam recently made headlines when three women were arrested as part of a hypnosis fraud gang in Semarang, Central Java. The Malaysian government has taken this recent rash of hypnotheives very seriously and released a video to help people from being defrauded.
A girl is waiting to catch her bus home when a car stops to ask for directions. The first clue that something was awry should have been the fact that the woman was asking her for directions even though she was pointing to a map on her phone. Obviously she could have just searched for the address on her phone, but our victim decides to help anyway, it's like she was asking to get hypnotized.
This is where shit gets real, he woman in the car reaches out and puts her hand on the shoulder of her victim, with the tone change in the music you can tell right away, she's hypnotized her.
Gendam has grabbed hold and there's nothing that can be done. They take her to an ATM where she empties out her account and hands it to the woman in the car. With a snap of her fingers, she knocks her victim out of hypnosis and drives away. Leaving the woman on the side of the road but not before somehow remembering being hypnotized in black and white and rueing the day she stopped to help a stranger looking for directions.
Thanks to the Malaysian Police and the Ministry Of Interior Affairs, we can now add fraud by hypnosis to the list of things we should be afraid of strangers doing to us.