Retired headmaster loses over RM35,000 to scammers, claims bank allowed transactions even after making report

GEORGE TOWN: A retired headmaster who lost over RM35,000 to scammers says numerous charges were made to his debit and credit cards even after he asked the issuing banks to block all transactions.

Ooi Eng Lye, 64, said he had taken immediate steps to stop further losses and said that the banks could have done better.

He said he came across an advertisement on Facebook for a cleaning service on Nov 16, 2022 and contacted the number given.

"A link was sent to my handphone to pay a deposit but the transactions on my debit and credit cards were declined.

"At 3am the next day (Nov 17), I woke up to check on my debit card account and found that RM15,000 in savings was gone.

"I called up the banks immediately and requested for both cards to be blocked. However, I was then informed that four transactions amounting to about RM15,000 were made earlier within a span of 14 minutes.

"I quickly lodged a police report later in the morning and submitted the report to the relevant bank," he explained during a press conference at Penang Gerakan's headquarters in Jalan Macalister on Tuesday (Feb 27).

Eng Lye said while he was waiting for investigations to conclude, he discovered that 15 more transactions amounting to over RM40,000 were made on his credit card in December 2022.

"Among them were two transactions for purchases of iPhones in Bangkok, as well as three ewallet and eight ecommerce transactions.

"My telco provider said that no one-time password (OTP) was sent out during the period the transactions were made.

"Since I blocked my credit card, why did the bank still allow such abnormal transactions without me verifying it or being informed about it?" he asked.

Eng Lye said he had managed to recover about RM20,000 in refunds from the ecommerce transactions but he was disappointed that the banks have not given him a valid explanation or settlement to the case nor helped to recover the losses despite various meetings between them and the Ombudsman for Financial Services (OFS).

"I've had to deal with a lot of stress dealing with the banks that I had entrusted to save my money.

"I hope that this case can be resolved with the help of OFS and get my money back.

"Until now, the case has not been resolved," he said.

Penang Gerakan Youth information chief Andrew Ooi urged the banks involved to uphold their responsibility and improve their security measures.

"I hope the banks responsible will step up and back their clients in such cases.

"Banks have insurance coverage for fraudulent transactions.

"If not, why not look into such a policy to cover such unauthorised transactions," he said.

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