KUALA LUMPUR: Employee Provident Fund (EPF) contributors who intend to use the i-Sinar scheme should be wary of scammers, says Comm Datuk Zainuddin Yaacob (pic).
The Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director said irresponsible parties might look to take advantage of those withdrawing their EPF savings as part of the i-Sinar scheme.
"Don't trust any so-called agents who might promise to assist in getting approval of the i-Sinar withdrawal scheme.
"If you intend to use the scheme, don't rely on any third party. Do it yourself, and deal straight with the EPF," he said in an interview at the CCID headquarters on Thursday (Dec 24).
While there are no reports yet on such scammers, Comm Zainuddin said the public, especially EPF contributors should be wary and stay vigilant.
"I believe there are bound to be certain parties who intend to use the opportunity to dupe people.
"Don't give them the chance to do so," he added.
If there is no urgent need to withdraw the EPF savings via i-Sinar, then don't do so, Comm Zainuddin said.
"For those who intend to go ahead with using the scheme, don't use the savings to invest in dubious or unclear investment.
"Double-check with credible agencies before investing your funds," he said.
He added that legitimate investment schemes do not promise lucrative returns in such a short time.
The public can check with the CCID's Semak Mule site or with other agencies such as Bank Negara Malaysia and the Securities Commission.
Crowds thronged EPF offices nationwide to get more information on i-Sinar just as it opened for applications online on Tuesday (Dec 22).
Apart from the headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, queues were also seen at EPF offices in many parts of the country.
On Monday (Dec 21), EPF started to accept applications for i-Sinar, where an estimated eight million members were allowed to withdraw their savings to help them cope with hardship brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. Payments will start from the middle of next month.
At the EPF office in Shah Alam, the line for the lunchtime crowd stretched over 100m as the applicants physically distanced and adhered to the SOP under the conditional MCO.
The i-Sinar application, available online only at iSinar.kwsp.gov.my, is open to Category 1 EPF members.
Category 1 are members who have not contributed to EPF for at least two consecutive months or are still working but have suffered a reduction of 30% or more in their base salary from March.
Eligible members under this category are those working in the formal sector or the gig economy, the self-employed as well as those who have lost their jobs, been given no-pay leave or housewives.
No supporting documents are required for the i-Sinar application as approval is automatic based on EPF’s internal data.
For those with savings in EPF Account 1 exceeding RM90,000, the withdrawal is up to RM60,000; for those with RM90,000 or less, the maximum withdrawal is RM10,000.
Members whose total income has been reduced by 30% will fall under Category 2.