Internet banking fraud, even fixed deposit is not safe.

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Media Statement By Chong Chieng Jen:

In the face of internet banking fraud, even fixed deposit is not safe.

I have today received another complain from an internet banking fraud victim. This time it involves her accounts in 2 banks and shockingly included her fixed deposit being transferred out.

On 28.6.2022, Miss Bong downloaded an Apps onto her spare phone. Within an hour, there were 4 unauthorized transfers of fund from her bank account to Lazada. The 4 transfers were RM14,800.00, RM9,038.00, RM13,102 and RM9,884.00, in the total sum of RM46,824.00 all to a Lazada account. In just a matter of 2 hours, she has lost a large part of her lifetime savings.

She immediately took action to notify the bank and Lazada via email and lodged police
report.

I have also issued a letter to the Bank Negara Malaysia, the bank and Lazada to urge for quick intervention to help her recover her loss. Though she may be faulted for downloading an Apps in her handphone, but the thought of one simple Apps being able to withdraw so much money from a person’s bank accounts without his knowledge and even fixed deposit account is most disturbing and scary.

In the recent weeks, there have been numerous reports of such internet banking fraud.

Unlike cash transactions, e-banking transactions can be easily traced with just some clicks of buttons. Yet, it seems that e-banking fraud victims are left defenseless and the banks are not helping much to retrieve their money.

Bank Negara Malaysia, banks and all e-commerce shopping platforms must act in a concerted effort to address such issue. The banks should not be pushing the butt to the internet shopping platform or vice versa. They must work together to trace the money trail and bring those fraudsters to book.

Such bank account hacking software and Apps seems to be everywhere in the internet, yet, the banks, with their financial might and capabilities, do not seem to be able to tackle the
issue. It begs the question whether the banks have invested sufficiently into such internet
banking safety features.

This is a policy call issue. The banking sector have moved aggressively towards internet banking in the name of cost savings and efficiency. Bank Negara’s policy is also pushing for internet banking.

As a result, Banks’ customers were compelled to adopt to this new culture of internet banking. Yet, their money is not safe with internet banking system and there are insufficient safeguards for their money in banks.

This should not be allowed in our financial system, where individuals are left to the mercy of these internet banking fraudsters.

Unless the banks are directed to absorb such fraud losses, the banks will be reluctant to invest in systems to safeguard their customers’ money. It is thus the Bank Negara Malaysia’s role to ensure that the public’s money is well protected by the system.