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Do not be duped by frauds

Members of the public have been warned to be cautious about a syndicate whose members target victims by impersonating Bank Negara officials.

Jef Phang, 36, from Kepong said he received a call on his mobile phone from a female caller who claimed to be a Bank Negara officer. However, the caller used a private number.

“The caller had my full name, address and my mother’s maiden name. Then the call was supposedly passed to a customer service officer who told me that my credit card had expired.

“When I told her that I did not own a card from that particular bank, she asked me for my fixed deposit account and other bank account numbers,” said the businessman, who suspected that something was amiss because Bank Negara would have had such details.

Phang said he hung up the phone and immediately contacted the Gerakan Public Service and Complaints Bureau.

Another businessman William Pheng, 39, said he had received a similar call on Dec 20 from a local bank.

“The caller said I had not made payments for my credit card. When I said I did not own a credit card from the bank, he read out my MyKad number for verification.

“Then he said someone may have used my MyKad to apply for a card and that the outstanding amount was RM13,000,” said Pheng from Shah Alam, adding that the caller said he would inform Bank Negara about the matter.

Pheng said in less than 10 minutes, he received two missed calls and when he called the number, it was Bank Negara’s official line.

“The call came in again and the caller said he was from Bank Negara and that he was investigating my case.

“He recorded my statement and told me Bank Negara would help him purchase an insurance to ensure that the case was covered. He even said that I did not have to pay for the insurance.

“However, he started asking me for the last four digit of all my credit cards for record purposes. I gave it to him, but when he asked me for the balance of my savings account, I grew suspicious and I did not want to tell him,” said Pheng, adding that the suspect began to raise his voice and said that he had the right to ask for the details as he works for Bank Negara.

Pheng suspected something was not right and told the caller that he had to attend to something urgent and asked him to call back.

“I called Bank Negara immediately and was told that this was a scam, and Bank Negara would not do such things.

“The suspect called again and I ignored the call. I proceeded to block all my credit cards,” he added.

Gerakan Public Service and Complaints Bureau chairman Wilson Lau said he had received 18 complaints involving money laundering, misuse of credit cards and scams by syndicates.

“I strongly urge Bank Negara to take stern action by discontinuing the outsourcing of credit card applications by third parties.

“If people are interested in applying for a card, they should go to the bank and make the application themselves,” he told a press conference at Brem Mall in Kepong.

He added that he would also ask Bank Negara and the police to come up with an awareness campaign to inform the public of such scams by syndicates.

Source: The Star, 5 January 2013

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