Sarawak housewife loses RM44,074 to scammers after responding to house-cleaning ad on Facebook

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUCHING, Jan 3 — A housewife, who responded to an advertisement posted on Facebook, lost RM44,074 to a syndicate through illegal transfers late last month, Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen today.

He said she came to see him yesterday seeking his help to get back her money from the bank.

“It all started when she surfed Facebook and came across an advertisement for a house-cleaning service.

“As Chinese New Year is approaching, she engaged the administrator of the Facebook page to book the house-cleaning service, but encountered problems when trying to make payment,” Chong said in a statement.

He said the following day she discovered that her bank account was blocked and upon enquiry, she found out that there had been eight consecutive transfers of funds to a third-party’s account with a different bank.

“The name of the recipient account is someone unknown to her,” Chong said, adding that the transfers happened between 7.37pm and 8.29pm on December 30, 2022.

“What was peculiar in this case was that she had previously set her account with the condition of one-day maximum withdrawal limit of RM10,000, but she did not receive any notification from the bank that her account limit setting was altered.

Chong said it is certainly an abnormality that there were eight consecutive transfers of funds from her account to the third party’s account within a space of one hour.

“Had the bank’s internet banking security system been more vigilant and secure, such consecutive transfers would definitely have raised red flags in the system, thereby stopping the transfers,” he said.

Chong said the victim did not receive any alert within the bank’s security system or receive any notification, OTP or TAC from the bank.

Chong said he had helped the victim to write to the bank to demand for the reimbursement of the whole sum as the money was kept in its custody.

“I have also sent a copy of the letter to Bank Negara Malaysia with the hope that the central bank, being the regulator of some financial institutions in the country, can act to protect individuals’ interests and money deposited in any bank,” he said.

He said he will also personally bring this and other scam cases which were brought to handle to the ministry of finance.

“We cannot allow the banks to push their responsibilities off to their customers instead of improving the security of their internet banking system,” he added.