All it took was 14 seconds for a Malaysian man to lose his savings of RM1 million (US$223,539).
The 39-year-old man, identified as Lee by the Borneo Post Online, said he had received a call from someone claiming that they were from Malaysian courier service provider, Poslaju.
14 seconds is all it took.
Sensing something amiss, Lee – who hails from Kuching, Sarawak – hung up. Out of curiosity, he checked his bank account. That was when he noticed that a bank withdrawal of RM1 million had been made. Lee said he didn't receive nor provide any authorization.
Worried, he quickly called the bank and made a police report. Following this, he sought help from the Democratic Action Party (DAP).
Special assistant to DAP Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen, Michael Kong, said on February 27, 2023 that based on online bank transfer records, Lee's savings were transferred to an account by the name of Celcom Sdn Bhd.
“No One Time Password (OTP) or notification was sent to Lee. Furthermore, if one were to withdraw RM20,000 (US$4474) cash from his bank account over the counter, most banks nowadays will require the account holder to fill in forms and answer a list of questions justifying the withdrawal of the money."
“He was merely answering a phone call for about 14 seconds and yet RM1 million in his bank account was literally stolen from him. If withdrawing even RM20,000 is such a hassle, how could two withdrawals of RM500,000 each happen within minutes?” Michael asked.
The party has contacted the bank where Lee had saved his money but bureaucracy served as a stumbling block.
“So far, we have contacted the bank. But as usual, their standard answer is to wait for 14 days, standard procedure because everything needs to wait for their headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. But to wait 14 days is too long. The bank really needs to explain how such a huge transaction could happen,” Michael explained, adding that the bank needs to beef up its security.
“Banks are supposed to be the safest place to keep our savings. Now, it seems that even banks are not safe, so where else can we, the common people, keep our savings? Therefore, the government must act immediately on bank scams and hold banks responsible for the losses caused by these scams,” he added.
DAP is now assisting Lee to seek compensation from the bank.
Maybank said case is closed.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Maybank said that the case is now "closed".
“Maybank refers to the recent incident involving a customer that allegedly claimed to have had funds taken out of his account without his authorization,” the bank said in a statement.
“The bank would like to confirm that investigations were carried out where the transactions were effectively traced and monies returned safely to the customer. Findings also revealed that our systems were not compromised. Meanwhile, Maybank has already engaged with the customer and the matter is now closed."
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Cover image sourced from New Straits Times.