IBPO Against Scammers: Common Scam Tactics in Malaysia
As our world becomes more advanced, so have the methods of money scammers. Criminals are getting better at creating believable scenarios to cheat victims of their hard-earned money.
Sometimes we read news of victims getting scammed and think “that would never be me,” but that’s just because we weren’t the intended target. Scammers can always evolve their schemes to include you as a victim!
With that being said, what are some of the more common scam tactics being used right now in Malaysia? You should be aware of any of the following situations.
Someone posing as an employee of EPF texts you to offer help withdrawing savings early for a fee. Sometimes they even advertise their services online and use the EPF logo. Always double check if the source of your information is from the government’s official website.
The scammers will ask for 30% to 60% of the withdrawal amount as commission. Never engage with these syndicates as they will submit falsified documents on your behalf to withdraw funds, you can get into legal trouble for that.
Remember that official messages from EPF will display a five-digit shortcode as sender identification (ID), and will never be sent from a personal phone number.
Do not fall for loan offers that do not care about your credit history, require upfront payment such as “processing fees,” or urge you to take immediate action.
After milking you off as many payments as they can, the scammers will disappear without a trace with your hard-earned money. Not only do you lose your money, you may also leave a bad record on your credit history as well.
Only ever obtain loans from banks or licensed money lenders. If the offers sound too good to be true, they probably are.
Investment or money games that guarantee quick and high returns do not exist. Only low risk investment schemes such as fixed deposits guarantee returns, but never in unrealistic amounts such as 10% per year.
As much as we want to get rich quickly and easily, such promises are usually empty lies, it’s better to hunker down and work hard. Better yet, we can invest through legitimate medium licensed under the Securities Commission.
This form of scam originated from Macau, hence the name. The scammer assumes an official role, such as that of a police officer, a bank officer, or a customs officer and would try to convince you that your credit card information is compromised, or that you have to pay a fee to get hold of a seized parcel.
Basically, the caller would try to scare you into paying a sum to secure your information, or avoid arrest. Some of these scammers are so advanced that they can imitate the authorities’ caller IDs.
The best course of action here is to hang up and call the relevant hotline to verify any potential problems claimed by said scammer.
Pro tip: Banks will never ask for sensitive information through phone calls, or even texts and emails.
This one has been around for quite some time, but still claims victims from time to time. This classic scam usually sees the scammer inform victims that they have won a huge prize, but to claim this prize, they’d have to deposit a sum of money first. After which, the scammers will be nowhere to be found.
Just a few years back, an elderly man lost RM 120,000 to a lottery scam! It is very much still a tactic in use.
Love is beautiful, unfortunately, it can also be falsified and used to steal money from a victim. Every now and then, someone gets catfished and scammed by people they met online.
Usually scammers interact, build trust, and form a “relationship” with the victim over a period of time before striking. They might then come up with a sad story like how a family member has fallen ill and require a huge sum of money for the treatment.
Similar stories may keep on coming, especially if the scammer claims to live abroad, so meeting in person is not viable. To avoid being catfished by people you meet online, you can do an image search of them, usually they won’t use their own photo.
Of course, do not give away all your personal details to people you’ve just met online, and don’t transfer money to someone you don’t fully trust. Even then, be vary about people you’ve never met in person!
How to Protect Yourself From Common Scams?
Keep All Records and Documentation
If possible, keep a detailed financial record of all transactions you make, especially for big transactions involving huge sums of money. Even better yet, supplement details given from the bank with the purpose of transaction, the expected outcome, and information of the recipient.
Keep Details of Personnel Involved in Transaction
It is wise to always know who you are dealing with when it comes to money. Keep the personal and contact information of people you have dealings or business with. Even if said person turns out to be a scammer and is avoiding you, having their information aids any potential investigation.
Ask Yourself: “Is This Legal?”
Sometimes greed gets a hold of us, and we don’t think clearly. Take a moment and think if a scheme is too good to be true. Then, do some research, Bank Negara Malaysia has posted useful information regarding common scams, is what you’re being offered on the list?
So, What if You’ve Already Fallen for a Scam?
Prevention is always better than the cure, but sometimes, the bad guys may just be too smart. If you believe you’ve been scammed, call your bank or credit card company to see if your information has already been used.