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SMEs urged to be cautious against scams involving stimulus package, relief measures

20 Apr 2020 / 10:54 H.

PETALING JAYA: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been cautioned against scam syndicates which deploy scam tactics with the intention to deceive unsuspecting victims that may result in monetary losses and risk compromising their sensitive banking details and confidential information.

In a joint statement, the Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM), Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia (Aibim) and Association of Development Finance Institutions of Malaysia (Adfim) said the scam syndicates’ latest modus operandi includes impersonating bank officers and/or bank representatives who engage with 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 as announced by Bank Negara Malaysia and the financial institutions.

“Financial institutions and/or banks do not appoint or engage third parties or agents for the process of securing loans. Hence, individuals and businesses are strongly advised not to pursue loan applications and/or divulge sensitive and confidential information to individuals or companies claiming to be third party appointees or agents from the financial industry,“ ABM, Aibim and Adfim said.

It advised 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 imSME.com.my online platform, whereby, the platform will match your financing needs with the financial institution best suited to your requirements.

“The public is advised to be wary of calls or messages purportedly from bank officials, the police, income tax department, the Courts or other government agencies demanding your personal banking information. Banks and/or financial institutions will never ask you for your personal banking information such as Transaction Authorisation Code or Personal Identification Number or your online login 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.

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