PETALING JAYA: Beware of strangers who come up to you saying that you may be eligible for financial assistance, and offer to help you get the cash.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong said the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) secretariat has advised applicants that the process is free and does not involve such agents.
“The forms are available from the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) or online.
“So far we have not received complaints on this issue (of people being scammed over BR1M) but we can advise that all BR1M applications are free,” he said when contacted.
The first stage of BR1M payouts for this year is under way. The cash assistance is given out to households in three stages – in February, June and August.
Those in the single individual category will receive a lump sum in the first payment period.
It was found that the IRB had received complaints in the past from BR1M applicants and recipients who allegedly received e-mail or text messages from individuals posing as IRB officers, claiming to offer BR1M insurance or to help check the status of their approval.
“We have not sent any e-mail or text through any individual officer to BR1M applicants or recipients.
“Thus, we kindly advise those who have received the fake e-mail or messages to please delete it and not to provide the sender with any feedback as requested,” the IRB said in a statement.
A Welfare Department official also advised the public not to fall for such traps set by confidence tricksters.
The official said anyone who wants to apply for welfare aid must come to the department’s office in person, with all the necessary documents.
“We never appointed or endorsed any agent to act as an intermediary.
“All applicants must show identification documents and proof of financial status, among other details, to us,” the official said, adding that once this is done, the department would take up to 30 days to process the applications.
“So people who say the aid can be received immediately are lying,” the official said.