SUPP receives six scam reports, seeks Bank Negara’s preventive measures

Foo speaks at a press conference in Kuching. ― Borneo Post pic

Foo speaks at a press conference in Kuching. ― Borneo Post pic

Friday, 17 Jun 2022 8:20 AM MYT

KUCHING, June 17 ― The Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) public complaints bureau has so far received six reports on scams involving losses amounting to more than RM100,000 since June 10.

Its bureau chief Milton Foo said a preemptive measure should be taken by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to direct all banks and financial institutions to freeze and investigate the recipient’s or mule account holders that were reported by the victims.

“From the six cases, all of the victims have seen their hard earned savings being transferred into these mule bank accounts,” said Foo to a press conference at the party’s headquarters here yesterday.

He said out of the six cases that they had received, the highest loss to a single victim was at RM47,000, followed by a credit card scam which caused the victim to lose RM8,000.

Foo, who is also SUPP Youth Central secretary, said BNM should also strengthen the procedures and criteria for any individuals who want to open a new bank account and also to have new bank accounts audited periodically.

“This is to deter the new bank accounts from becoming mule accounts for scammers,” he noted, while hailing the statement issued by Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Datuk Mohd Kamarudin Md Din to blacklist any individuals from opening new bank accounts if they were found to be owners of mule accounts.

On BNM’s role in tackling these issues, Foo suggested the central bank impose a penalty on banks that are found responsible for having mule accounts.

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He stressed that BNM, together with other financial institutions and enforcement agencies, should coordinate themselves to investigate the cases promptly and diligently.

“We also urge the authority especially PDRM (Royal Malaysia Police) to thoroughly follow the vine to trace the end mule account where money was being siphoned off and take immediate action to prosecute, not only mule account owner but also the scammer,” Foo said.

On another note, Foo also reminded the public who have become scam victims to include the term “for police investigation” in their police report in order to empower the police to carry out their investigation.

Meanwhile, on the scammer’s modus operandi, he said most of the victims were scammed upon making transactions at the payment gateway page.

“After filling up their details at the page, the victims somehow did not receive any Transaction Authorisation Code (TAC),” said Foo.

Instead, the TAC is believed to be forwarded to the scammers where they would almost immediately siphon off money from the victims’ savings account.

“Maybe at this critical juncture, the public should limit the amount of money that can be transacted online,” said Foo.

He advised an account holder to opt out online transactions for their main bank account or to make use of two bank accounts, of which one is for savings and the other for limited online transactions. ― Borneo Post