No OTP or texts received from banks, yet engineer's credit cards billed to the tune of RM40,000

JOHOR BARU: A 44-year-old engineer is crying foul after his credit cards were misused for various transactions without his knowledge, leaving him with a total debt of RM40,000.

The man, who asked to be identified only as Lee, claimed that the transactions were made on June 1 without his knowledge as he did not receive any one-time pin (OTP) from any banks or any text messages notifying him that his credit cards had been used.

He said he first noticed something wrong when he wanted to top up RM200 into an online shopping platform e-wallet with his credit card at around 3pm on the same day, only to be informed that he had reached his credit limit.

“I quickly called my bank to check because my credit card limit was not that low and I had not performed any major transactions recently.

“I was shocked when I was told that my credit card had been used for three transactions that morning to top up an e-wallet at another online shopping platform amounting to RM9,000,” he told a virtual press conference on Wednesday (June 23) organised by the Pasir Gudang MCA Public Complaints and Services bureau.

More bad news ensued after he decided to check on his two other credit cards.

“One of the cards was used to top up RM12,000 in four transactions at an online shopping platform while three transactions were performed with the other card amounting to RM19,000 with two e-wallets.

“I did not perform the transactions. All my online shopping apps also do not reflect the amounts in the transactions using my credit cards,” he said, adding that he cancelled all three cards and lodged a police report after that.

Lee said he felt helpless and disappointed by the answers given by the representatives of the banks, online shopping platforms and telecommunications companies who could not give him a clear answer as to who had misused his credit cards.

“They told me they cannot release such information due to privacy and confidentiality issues, but who is going to help me as a victim?

“One of the banks even told me that their internal investigation showed an OTP had been sent out for the transactions but they declined to reveal which mobile telephone number they were sent to.

“As such, they told me that I have to pay even though I really did not receive the OTPs on my mobile phone.

“It is very frustrating. I am also stressed and have been having sleepless nights thinking about the RM40,000 I have to pay despite playing no part in those transactions,” he said, adding that his income has been affected by the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown.

Meanwhile, the bureau’s deputy chief Ang Tun Chek said he is helping Lee get in touch with the banks to get a clearer picture of the matter.

He also said the bureau has received five such cases since May involving victims who did not receive an OTP but still had transactions made with their cards.

“It is unfair that the victims are given the runaround and I think that banks should do more to protect the victims.

"I am surprised that there was no trigger after multiple transactions involving large sums of money were made,” he said.

Ang hopes that Bank Negara could look into the matter as such cases have also been widely reported in the media.

“With so many people’s income being affected by the ongoing pandemic, they really do not need more unnecessary financial burdens to weigh them down," he said.

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