Malaysian man loses 1 million ringgit in 14-second scam call
Losing an insane amount of your hard-earned money is pretty much everyone’s biggest nightmare, especially in this economy.
Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened to a 39-year-old man, identified as Lee, who answered an anonymous call two days ago only to find out later on he was swindled of RM1 million (US$ 222,820) of his precious savings during the 14-second online banking scam call.
Borneo Post Online reported that Lee is still unable to accept that he has lost RM1 million – money that he had saved up throughout his life.
The tragedy occurred when the caller pretended that he was from PosLaju and requested that Lee give him his one-time pass password (OTP).
Knowing something wasn’t right, Lee – a shrewd businessman – hung up. He then decided to look into his account.
It was then that he discovered a RM1 million withdrawal had been made without his authorization from his bank’s savings account.
He immediately called the bank to lodge a complaint and make a police report.
Lee is one of the latest victims to seek help from the Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) over online banking scams.
According to Michael Kong, special assistant to Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen, the money was transferred to an account called “Celcom Sdn Bhd” based on Lee’s online bank transfer records.
“No OTP or notification was sent to Lee. Furthermore, if one were to withdraw RM20,000 cash from his bank account over the counter, most banks nowadays will require the account holder to fill in forms and answer a list of questions justifying the withdrawal of the money.
“He was merely answering a phone call for about 14 seconds, and yet RM1 million in his bank account was literally stolen from him.
“If withdrawing even RM20,000 is such a hassle, how could two withdrawals of RM500,000 each happen within minutes?” he asked.
Kong was met at DAP headquarters yesterday.
Kong urged the federal government to take immediate action to address the issue, fearing that more cases of online banking fraud would occur.
“Just as we are still waiting for the finance minister to provide us a solution on the debate of YB Chong Chieng Jen in respect of this issue, which he brought up last week in Parliament, another shocking case of unauthorised transfer of money from the account of an account holder happened, and this time it was RM1 million,” he said, adding that banks also must take responsibility for the losses caused by these scams.
When asked if they had approached any banks for an account under the name “Celcom Sdn Bhd,” he clarified that they had only approached the bank in question so far.
“So far, we have contacted the bank. But as usual, their standard answer is to wait for 14 days…standard procedure because everything needs to wait for their headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
“But to wait 14 days is too long. The bank really needs to explain how such a huge transaction could happen.”
He also emphasised the need for the bank to strengthen its security measures in order to reduce the incidence of online scams.
“Banks are supposed to be the safest place to keep our savings. Now, it seems that even banks are not safe, so where else can we, the common people, keep our savings?
“Therefore, the government must act immediately on bank scams and hold banks responsible for the losses caused by these scams.”
Kong also said that he and Sim Kiat Leng, who is also Chong’s special assistant, will help Lee recover the money and seek compensation from the bank.
Meanwhile, Lee’s wife, when met, said the incident was indeed shocking, as such a huge sum of money could be wiped out in just a split second.
“Despite the incident, I try to take the matter positively, and my husband and I are physically safe,” she said.
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