Internet, phone scams among top complaints on BNMTelelink in 2021

30 Mar 2022 11:27am
Photo for illustration purpose only - Source: 123rf
Photo for illustration purpose only - Source: 123rf

KUALA LUMPUR - Complaints about financial fraud, especially internet, investment and phone scams were among the top five issues raised by the public on Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) BNMTelelink in 2021.

In its Annual Report 2021 released today, the central bank said it had continued to step up its efforts to educate the public on financial fraud together with other enforcement agencies, including the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, the Securities Commission Malaysia and the Royal Malaysia police.

Due to the pandemic, its customer service centres and regional offices were closed to walk-in engagements for most of the year.

As such, BNMTelelink became one of its main contact points, where members of the public and businesses were able to reach BNM through phone, email and its online presence.

"Despite the physical movement restrictions, we maintained a high number of engagements with around 300,000 interactions during the year,” it said.

One of BNM’s key initiatives was to warn the public of scams by posting alerts on the Amaran Scam page on Facebook, with more than 320 postings throughout the year.

Since its launch in 2020, the page has gained 39,000 followers.

"During the year, we also observe an 11.2 per cent decline in scam-related queries and complaints received by BNM," it said.

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BNM also broadcasted a seven-episode webinar series on financial scams in conjunction with the Financial Literacy Month in October 2021.

Conducted in different languages to reach the Malay, Chinese and Indian communities, the webinar covered topics such as common financial scams in Malaysia, including the Get Rich Quick Schemes, Macau Scams, Mule Accounts, Phishing and e-commerce scams.

Additionally, the central bank organised 47 online engagement sessions via state radio stations and virtual webinars on financial fraud at the regional level to reach out to targeted audiences such as retirees, government employees and university communities.

"BNM has increased its digital presence and curated more content, while ensuring our services remained accessible online to ensure affected parties know that help remains available to tide them through difficult times," the bank said.

Throughout 2021, BNM continued to leverage multiple communication channels to raise awareness on the various avenues and mechanisms available for those affected by the health crisis to seek assistance.

To become more user-centric, BNM had refreshed its website design to ensure visitors can get the information needed within the fewest clicks, and reviewed the main webpage's content for a more mobile-friendly experience.

In addition to having a presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedln and Youtube, BNM had also expanded its presence to Telegram to broaden its reach. - BERNAMA