A wake-up call for banks

KUALA LUMPUR: The police remain firm in their stance that people should ignore calls from unknown numbers.

Instead, they say, legitimate businesses have to find new ways to handle over-the-phone marketing and verification methods.

The need for new ways is due to scammers also using the same methods to make victims part with information about themselves, according to Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Comm Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf.

Comm Ramli acknowledged that both the banking and telemarketing industries have been facing problems with customers refusing to reveal information about themselves for verification purposes.

“I have been asked what would happen to industries that rely on telemarketing services to promote their services if the police continue to advise all to not answer calls from unknown numbers. I urge these industries to change their promotion tactics and not try to change consumer behaviour.“Among the more popular tactics in online scams are the use of phone calls to contact victims directly. This has created a fear among people that unknown calls are from scammers.“Our priority must be the protection of consumers,” he said.

In the eyes of the police, he said, the best way to avoid being scammed is to simply ignore unknown calls, as this completely removes the risk of being cheated over the phone.

He added that he had also personally received legitimate calls but would not give the required information as he preferred to err on the side of safety.

“Just last week, I received five calls from two banking institutions for over-the-phone verification. When I asked about the purpose of the call, I was told I would need to verify my identity first.

“So it’s a never-ending issue; I have to verify myself to them and the banks will need to verify themselves to me.

“In the end, no one verifies and both end the call,” he said, leading to laughter from reporters.

He also noted that business is still being conducted using mobile numbers, leading to even more suspicion.

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scam , bank , phone


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