DAP Chong submits cases of 10 unauthorised transaction victims to deputy minister for investigation, compensation

Sim (left) and Chong in a group photo at the Deputy Minister of Finance II's office today (Jan 31, 2023).

Follow and subscribe to DayakDaily on Telegram for faster news updates.

KUCHING, Jan 31: Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen paid a courtesy visit to Deputy Minister of Finance II Steven Sim Chee Keong today to submit the cases of 10 victims of scams involving unauthorised transfers and unauthorised credit card transactions.

In an official letter to Sim, Chong highlighted that he recently read in the press that the relevant authorities successfully recovered the scammed money for a retiree thanks to the efforts of the Deputy Minister of Finance II.

“Therefore, it is with great hope that I forward herewith the cases of 10 victims of scams involving unauthorised transfers and unauthorised credit card transactions where substantial amounts of their savings were literally stolen from their bank accounts or credit cards.

“All the victims have lodged police reports in respect of the fraud, but so far none has received any feedback from the police on whether any action has been taken.

“They have also filed their claims with the banks but the banks have rejected all their claims,” he said.

Chong, who is also Stampin MP, listed the 10 victims of such scams:

• Three victims alleged that they did not download any apps onto their handphones, yet their accounts were hacked and savings transferred out and/or credit card charged without their knowledge. None of them received any OTP or PAC notifications for the unauthorised transactions, but the banks claimed that since the OTP and PAC notifications have been sent out, regardless whether they have actually received those notifications, the banks refused to compensate them for their loss.

• A woman said she had never performed any internet banking transaction. She didn’t even know that her account could be accessed through the internet. She also did not download any apps onto her handphone. Yet, her money in her bank account was transferred out without her knowledge and authorisation. Even her Fixed Deposit was uplifted and the fund therein transferred into her savings account and thereafter transferred out to some third party.

• Another victim said he did not download any apps, yet a total sum of RM6,984 was transferred out from his bank account via seven successive transfers without his knowledge and authorisation. He received five SMS notifications for the transactions whereupon he immediately informed the bank, yet the bank refused to compensate him.

• Four victims admitted that they had downloaded apps which caused the unauthorised transfers of funds from their account. However, they responded almost immediately to inform the banks, yet the banks could do nothing to help and will not compensate them for their losses.

• A woman said she did not download any apps but upon receiving notifications of two unauthorised charges to her credit card, she immediately called to inform the bank. Despite the fact that the charges were for the purchase of something through Shopee Account, the bank refused to cancel the charges.

Chong then requested in his letter that the Ministry of Finance (MOF) step in and conduct more thorough investigations, trace the money trail, bring the perpetrators to justice, and compensate the victims for their losses.

He also proposed policies that would provide greater protection to depositors rather than banks, as well as measures that banks could implement to reduce such scam transactions and help account holders avoid losses.

“It is no excuse for the banks to push away their responsibility that the depositors have downloaded certain apps thereby compromising the information of their accounts.

“Even if the depositors have wrongly downloaded those ‘malicious’ apps, they should not be penalised by losing their whole life savings.

“There are still precautionary measures available to the banks to help minimise their losses, but that was not done,” he explained.

Furthermore, Chong went on to say that in this day and age, e-commerce and online purchases are a way of life, and that most people, especially the younger generation, cannot live without them.

“Therefore, it is the duty of the government to regulate where the loss should fall,” he added.

He also emphasised that, in addition to banks, e-commerce platforms such as Shoppee, Lazada, Grab, and others should be involved so that these platforms are not used to facilitate such fraud and scams. — DayakDaily