'Scammers tap into commonly used platforms, draining bank accounts'

Victim shares harrowing experience, urges authorities to combat online scams

10 Feb 2024 04:05pm
Photo for illustration purpose only. - Photo generated via Canva
Photo for illustration purpose only. - Photo generated via Canva

SHAH ALAM - The increasing prevalence of online fraud in the country is raising concerns among many about the safety of their data and the security of their stored funds.

According to a survey conducted by Sinar, many individuals believed that these fraudulent groups may have access to victims' information, personal details, and banking data.

A 26-year-old man, who preferred to be identified as Aiman, expressed worry that these scammer groups might possess confidential details, including identification numbers and phone numbers.

He noted that victims often fall prey to scammers' instructions because the personal details mentioned are accurate, instilling a false sense of confidence in the legitimacy of the fraudulent calls.

"I can confirm that they have our personal details because when they call, my details are accurately mentioned.

"I am deeply concerned if this were to happen to my family members or close friends.

"I have been a victim myself, so I don't want others to go through the same ordeal," he said.

When asked if other family members had encountered similar attempts, Aiman noted that, so far, no family members or close acquaintances had received any suspicious calls.

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He believed that the scammer only possessed his personal information, not that of other family members or acquaintances.

Thus, he had not received any reports related to scam issues from them.

Meanwhile, a 56-year-old chef, Gin Jeama Bose Sivarajan, recounted an encounter with scammers who claimed to be from the telecommunications company he used.

He explained that after emphasizing the need for telephone bill payment, the scammers requested the last four digits of his identification number, alleging that the bill had accumulated to hundreds of ringgits.

"The individual (scammer) discussed telephone bill payment, and as a user of the mentioned telco, I fell for it.

"Consequently, I made a transfer of almost RM300. Upon realising it was a scam, my son advised against divulging personal information to unknown individuals," he added.

A 63-year-old housewife, Rohani Othman, shared an incident involving an old friend who purportedly wanted to borrow money.

She said that her children transferred the money without further inquiry, trusting the individual mentioned, whom they believed to be an old acquaintance.

"The situation became more suspicious when he (the scammer) requested a transfer of thousands of ringgits.

"Hence, my children started questioning and investigating the matter.

"Upon learning that another friend had experienced a similar situation as me, my children promptly reported it to the police," she said.

Another victim, a 30-year-old individual known as Iqmalzaim, expressed concern that scammers might be aware of the applications commonly used by the public, allowing them to gain access to transactions.

He mentioned that his e-hailing application, linked to his bank account, had been used to withdraw RM30 every day, resulting in a loss of almost RM2,000.

"I don't actively use that bank account, so I rarely check it.

"I became aware of this when I attempted to make a payment at a store but was informed that the balance was insufficient.

"I am puzzled as to how scammers can withdraw money from a bank account without requiring a transaction verification code (TAC) via a message.

"Not a single message was received during the transaction dates," he said.

Iqmalzaim urged relevant authorities to address this issue promptly to prevent further individuals from falling victim to such scams.