Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hairstylist falls victim for second time with RM200,000 scam

Another experience of credit card fraud came back to haunt hairstylist Philip Chan when he received a call out of the blue 17 years later to repay a supposed RM200,000 debt.

Chan, 43, said he had lodged a complaint in 1996 when he discovered a RM4,000 charge on his monthly credit card statement.

“After investigations, the officer told me they believed I was a victim of fraud and closed the case. Since then, I have not used credit cards and no longer have an account with that financial institution,” he told reporters at the MCA Public Services and Complaints Department here yesterday.

However, Chan said he received a call on June 2 from a woman who initially claimed to be from the bank but later said she was from the bank's authorised debt collection agency.

He said she had asked him about the credit card charge in 1996 and informed him that his outstanding payment had now ballooned to RM200,000.

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“When I contacted the bank, the officer told me he could not find any of my personal information in their system.

“However, he verified that the agency was from its panel.

“What was strange is that the bank had no record of my information or alleged credit card bill. However, the debt collection agency knew everything including my IC and handphone number,” he said.

Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong said he would monitor the case closely and lodge a complaint with the Association of Banks Malaysia if necessary.

He said banks and other financial institutions that wanted to employ debt collection agencies should go about it in a professional manner.

Chong said he had received 13 cases of credit card fraud this year with losses amounting to RM662,000.

He also advised women not to hide their handbags in their cars when out jogging or swimming as scammers could easily swap or clone their credit cards.

“For men, be careful when making payments at pubs or night clubs as your credit cards can sometimes be swapped or cloned,” he said.

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