Saturday 13 Apr 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (March 27): Losses from financial scams based on the 16,752 calls made to the National Scam Response Centre (NSRC) from October 2022 to January 2023 amounted to RM39 million, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar, who is also the finance minister, said that under existing laws, banks could not place the responsibility for any losses from financial scams on its clients, unless there is sufficient evidence that the client has committed fraud or has not taken precautions to protect financial information at all times.

He said this in a written response to Chong Chien Jen [PH-Stampin], which was published on Parliament’s website on Monday (March 27). Chong wanted to know the amount of losses suffered by victims of scams through bank transfers from 2020 to 2022, and the rationale for banks not compensating the victims.

Anwar said banks would only be responsible for losses arising from weaknesses in its banking system and risk management practices.

“However, if there is evidence that their clients’ security details have been compromised, banks can offer compensation at their own discretion. Victims have the right to accept or reject the offer,” he said.

Should there be any dispute on the compensation amount, victims can lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman for Financial Services (OFS), he added.

OFS was established under Bank Negara Malaysia, in accordance with the Financial Service Act 2013 and Islamic Financial Services Act 2013, as an independent assistance mechanism that offers free services to clients concerning financial disputes with financial service providers.

Meanwhile, Anwar also said that police have opened 751 investigation papers under Section 420 of the Penal Code and 24 investigation papers under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act, and proceeded to freeze RM24.3 million in bank accounts, for the purpose of investigating money laundering.

The finance minister reminded users not to download any applications from unreliable sources, whether through websites or social media, and to only download from official platforms such as Apple Store or Google Play Store. Victims of financial scams are also urged to report to banks or the NSRC.

For more Parliament stories, click here.

Edited ByS Kanagaraju
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