Housewife’s savings deplete after win proves bogus

JOHOR BARU: A 60-year-old housewife lost thousands of ringgit in savings after her son unknowingly gave her debit card information to a scammer.

Her son, Nga Kang Ming, 22, received a call from a man who introduced himself as a telecommunications company customer service agent on April 14, telling him that his mother had won a bonus of RM2,000.

Nga, who works as a technician in Singapore, said the caller had told him that the prize money would be transferred into his mother’s bank account.

“He then sent me a link, which I clicked on and keyed in my mother’s information, including her ATM card number and three-digit verification (CCV) number on the back of the card as instructed.

“I was told that my mother would receive the money in one day,” said Nga in an interview.

After informing his mother, Lim Siew Geok, about the matter, she decided to visit one of the telecommunications company’s service centres to seek verification.

To Lim’s surprise, she was informed that there was no such bonus programme and that the caller could be a scammer.

She said her son then tried to contact the caller, but the telephone number could no longer be reached.

“In the following afternoon, I noticed that a total of RM16,792 had vanished from my bank account. When I checked with the bank, a staff member told me that the money was transferred into two commercial bank accounts via 12 online transactions on the night of April 14.

“This was a shock to me because I had never activated the online banking feature for my bank accounts.

“I had no idea how the feature could be activated without my consent as I have also never received any one-time password or transaction authorisation code from the bank,” she said.

Lim added that it was frustrating because more than a month has passed since the incident, and she has yet to receive a clear answer.

“It is upsetting when a bank staff member says my husband or children could have taken the money out of my account, which does not answer the question of how my online banking feature could be activated without my knowledge.

“Despite the bank blocking the online banking feature, I am still having sleepless nights, worrying about the remaining savings in my account.

“Who knows when my money will vanish again without my knowledge?” said Lim, adding that her son sought the help of Johor MCA public services and complaints bureau committee member Joan Ng.

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Scammer , Cheated , Money , Online Banking


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