Pending rep: Beware, scammers are on the prowl round-the-clock

Yong (showing a Bank Negara Malaysia poster) together with Stampin MP Chong Chieng Jen’s special assistant Sim Kiat Leng at the press conference.

KUCHING, Oct 3: A retired teacher from Kuching is experiencing mental anguish as she had just lost RM188,000 of her life’s savings.

An administrative assistant from Sri Aman is also going through the same ordeal after losing RM32,000.

An association secretary from Kuching lost RM15,800, too.

All of these three cases have one common theme — they were scammed.

The first victim was convinced into believing that she is involved in money laundering. The second victim was led into believing she was involved in a 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M)-related crime, while the third victim was tricked into thinking he was involved in money laundering and drug activities.

These three cases, with total losses amounting to RM235,800, were among the eight reports lodged with the state police commercial crime unit here as of yesterday.

Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong, who said she feel for these victims, lamented that phone scams are increasingly rampant these days, with many people falling victim.

Every few months, these phone con artists would re-try their tactics to cheat people; hence, the public must be on the alert at all times.

“In most cases, the callers would claim they are from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and even uses scare tactics to compel their victims to make payments for summonses or debts that do not exist,” Yong told a press conference here today.

A common tactic goes like this: the caller intimidates the victims with threats that their loans or credit cards were past due dates and must be settled immediately. The scammers would then claim that a hold had been placed on their accounts but that it would be fixed if sensitive and personal information were provided.

In cautioning the public to never reveal their identity or personal information to strangers, Yong emphasised that BNM and banks would never use telephone calls to rectify discrepancies.

“Whatever so-called mistakes in any bank account has to be solved over the counter,” she stressed.

In fact, she added, BNM had been reminding members of the public that they would never request for financial or personal information, never ask anyone to transfer money to third party account, and never keep the public’s money in any account.

“So, please be careful and take precautionary measures,” said Yong, adding that the public could always call BNM at its toll free number 1-300-885465 to check.

Yong also noted that some scammers would make claims that their victims had won some sort of lottery. This is to prey on the opportunistic feelings of their victims.

In advising the public not to suffer in silence, Yong said, “If you get one of these calls and happened to reveal your personal information, report it to the authorities immediately or call me.” — DayakDaily