rbtYap discussing the issue with the complainant.

KUCHING: SUPP Public Complaints Bureau (PCB) chief Wilfred Yap was recently approached by a woman from here seeking assistance following a suspicious phone call. According to the complainant, an individual, who claimed to be a telco representative, said the former owed money for several phone lines registered in Penang that was used to conduct illegal activities.

The complainant was advised by SUPP PCB to lodge a police report. In a statement, SUPP PCB advised the public to beware of phone scams.

“The modus operandi of scammers is usually to exploit human weaknesses — fear or ignorance — and they go through great lengths to appear convincing and even to the extent of spoofing the telephone numbers of enforcement agencies like the police, courts or banks.

rbtYap discussing the issue with the complainant.

“It is important for the public to know that the primary objective of phone scams involves getting victims to transfer money or divulge personal confidential and sensitive information,” said SUPP PCB.

“If anyone receives such suspicious phone calls, the person concerned should never disclose confidential or financial details under any circumstances.

“They should hang up and check with the relevant authorities or banks via their hotline numbers and not the ones provided by the scammers. They should also immediately lodge a police report,” SUPP PCB added.

Enforcement authorities, said SUPP PCB, would never conduct any investigation over the phone much less ask anyone through a third party to provide sensitive information.

“Financial institutions, including credit card issuers and Bank Negara Malaysia and all banking institutions will never request personal banking information when contacting customers, be it via telephone calls, SMS or emails.”