PETALING JAYA: Banking associations in the country have urged caution and vigilance against scams involving stimulus packages and relief measures announced by Bank Negara Malaysia and the financial industry during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The associations cautioned members of the public and businesses, especially the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) against syndicates that deploy scam tactics with the intention to deceive unsuspecting victims.
This may result in monetary losses and risk compromising their sensitive banking details and confidential information, they said.
They said the syndicates’ latest modus operandi includes impersonating bank officers or representatives who engage with unsuspecting victims via email, phone call, short message service (SMS) and social messaging platforms such as WhatsApp.
The scammers use the pretext of facilitating financial aid or assisting in loan application preparation and securing financing involving the stimulus package and special relief measures such as the Special Relief Facility (SRF), as announced by Bank Negara and the financial institutions.
“We would like to state clearly that financial institutions or banks do not appoint or engage third parties or agents for the process of securing loans.
“Hence, individuals and businesses are strongly advised not to pursue loan applications or divulge sensitive and confidential information to individuals or companies claiming to be third party appointees or agents from the financial industry, they said in a joint press statement on Monday (April 20).
The statement was released by the Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM), Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions (Aibim), and Association of Development Finance Institutions of Malaysia (Adfim).
They advised members of the public and businesses seeking financing to get in touch with the banks or financial institutions directly to apply for loans to avoid being deceived by these unscrupulous syndicates.
SMEs could also seek legitimate financing options via the imSME.com.my online platform.
The public was also advised to be wary of calls or messages purportedly from bank officials, police, income tax department, the Courts or other government agencies demanding personal banking information.
They said banks or financial institutions would never ask for personal banking information such as transaction authorisation code (TAC) or personal identification number (PIN) or online login usernames and passwords.
Businesses and members of the public were also reminded to refer to the financial institutions' official websites or to contact their customer service directly for information, verification and clarification.
Member of the public can also contact BNMTELELINK at 1-300-5465 for further information.
Alternatively, the public may also contact the respective associations for any enquiries or information relating to SRF scams at the numbers below.
1) ABM at ABMConnect at 1300-88-9980 or via eABMConnect at www.abm.org.my for conventional commercial banks.
2) AIBIM at 03-2026 8002/13 or e-mail to email@example.com for Islamic banking services.
3) ADFIM at 03-2694 9871 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for development finance institutes.