Bank associations warn businesses against scam syndicates

The financial industry associations stressed that they do not appoint or engage third parties or agents for the process of securing loans

by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK/ graphic by TMR

BEWARE with the various scams involving stimulus packages and relief measures announced by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), warned various banking associations to the public and businesses.

According to a joint press statement by Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM), Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM) and Association of Development Finance Institutions of Malaysia (ADFIM), the latest modus operandi by these scam syndicates include impersonating bank officers and/or bank representatives who would then engage unsuspecting victims via email, phone call, short message service (SMS) and/or social messaging platforms such as WhatsApp or other online messenger services.

“The scammers used the pretext of facilitating financial aid and/or assisting in loan application preparation and securing financing involving the stimulus package and special relief measures such as the Special Relief Facility (SRF) as announced by BNM and the financial institutions.

“We would like to state clearly that financial institutions and/or banks do not appoint or engage third parties or agents for the process of securing loans,” they said.

They added that any individuals and businesses, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), are advised against pursuing loan applications as well as divulging sensitive and confidential information to those who are claiming to be third party appointees or agents from the industry.

“We advise members of the public and businesses seeking financing to get in touch with the banks or financial institutions directly to apply for loans to avoid being deceived by these unscrupulous syndicates.

“Alternatively, SMEs can also seek legitimate financing options via the platform as it will match your financing needs with the financial institution best suited to your requirements,” they added.

The public is also advised to be wary of calls or messages that are supposedly from bank officials, the police, income tax department, courts or government agencies demanding personal banking information as banks or financial institutions will never ask for information such as the transaction authorisation code, personal identification number or online log in username and password.

“Businesses and members of the public are reminded to refer to the financial institutions and/or banks’ official websites or contact their customer service directly for information, verification and clarification,” the statement said.

BNMTelelink may also be contacted for further information via 1-300-5464, while the respective associations can be reached for any enquiries or information relating to the SRF scams at ABMConnect via 1300-88-9980 or for conventional commercial banks, while AIBIM can be reached at 03-2026 8002/13 or [email protected] for Islamic banking services and ADFIM at 03-2694 9871 or [email protected] for development finance institutes.