ALL IT TAKES IS A PHONE CALL
Be aware of the increasingly convincing modus operandi of phone scammers.
As technology advances, people are inventing new ways to swindle money from the unsuspecting. Around the world, many have fallen prey to cyber crime or lost large sums of money after a ‘phishing' phone call.
According to countless news reports and the Royal Malaysia Police, some phising methods are more common than others in Malaysia. Case number one: getting a call congratulating you on winning a million dollars from a lucky draw. You're then required to send a certain amount of money as 'insurance' for the money you'll be receiving. Once you've transferred the funds, you won't be able to contact anyone at that number anymore. Case number two: you get a phone call from a foreign number but whoever's calling hangs up after a ring or two. This is to picque your curiosity so you call back, and when you do, they'll keep you on the line to charge you expensive international call rates.
Besides these two examples, you may also get a call from a bank telling you that you're in debt because there is an outstanding fee on your credit card. You may or may not have signed up for a credit card with that particular bank previously. To lower your guard, they'll then ask you to call a given number to confirm what is happening and to get your personal or bank details. Once you've handed over this information, you may notice that your bank account has been emptied. This plan has become more elaborate, so you may even be told that somewhere in Malaysia, someone has used a credit card under your name to purchase something ridiculously expensive. In the event that you deny having a credit card with them, they'll insist that you call 'Bank Negara' through a phone number given by them. To block this credit card, you'll have to follow a set of instructions that includes going to an ATM machine to make a transaction, which will then result in them emptying your bank account.
If you do get what you suspect to be a scam call, take a deep breath and stay calm, so you can clarify what is happening and what you can do about it. In this situation, the Royal Malaysia Police's advice is to never give your personal or bank details to anyone over the phone. Also, do not call the number given to you. When in doubt, call the bank's official number to clarify the situation. You can also take some time off to visit the bank – even though you may have to wait a while to speak to an officer, it's better to be safe than sorry.
IF YOU’RE A VICTIM, MAKE A POLICE REPORT AT THE NEAREST POLICE STATION. IF YOU’RE CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF A SCAM, CALL BANK NEGARA MALAYSIA’S CUSTOMER SERVICE CALL CENTRE AT 1-300-88-5465 FOR SUPPORT.