When women seem willing to get conned
Published on: Thursday, November 24, 2016
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Kota Kinabalu: Love scams involving, withdrawal of monies to remit to lovers are difficult to advise against, a Bank Negara officer told a seminar here."There was a lady who was cheated more than five times. Yet she continues to succumb to such love scams which I find difficult to understand, said Zambre bin Ismail, who is based in its Labuan branch.

Zambre said that in some cases, wives found that their husbands had applied for a few loans under their names.

In one case, up to eight loans without their knowledge.

Likewise, there were husbands who found that their wives had applied for a few loans using their names without their knowledge.

He advised the public to check their credit rating using the CCRIS system available at Bank Negara branches.

At the seminar on "Financial Crimes", a CCRIS checking terminal was made available for them to check on their credit status with records of their loan that have been applied for.

Zambre's talk covered financial crime that included love scams, suspicious digital currencies, pyramid schemes and unlicensed direct selling (MLM) schemes, commodities and precious metals from gold, silver and other items, promising lucrative returns on investment with testimonies of successful people who claimed to have benefited from their investments in the schemes, whether local or from overseas.

Zambre advised get rich scheme investors to do a company search on private limited companies with the Companies Commission of Malaysia to find out their nature of business, records and the people behind the business as part of their investigative due diligence before deciding to invest after checking with the authorities such as Bank Negara's list of suspicious firms. Those who are involved should get out of such schemes fast, he added, to cut their losses.

"It's better to lose RM10,000 now than RM30,000 later."

He said financial crime perpetrators target people from all walks of life, exploiting information from facebook, etc, to put panic into the minds of the victims to make them do their bidding to solve the false perceived situation or play on their greed and gullibility to gain the victims' monies.

Bank Negara is only involved with complaints on illegal deposit taking schemes and unlicensed foreign exchange trading (Forex) financial crimes. Licensed money lenders are under the State Finance Ministry while pawn shops are under the respective local government or council.

Other cheating cases are those involving the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, the police, the Securities Commission etc. He cautioned the public that dealing with overseas banks or companies forex schemes in Malaysia without licence or Bank Negara's approval is illegal and unauthorised.

He said Bank Negara's name was used by many of the financial criminals including the names of the police, customs and others like the Securities Commission.

Bank Negara, licensed commercial banks and the police do not ask for private banking information from the public, nor will they send SMS or email requesting for information. Members of the public are requested to change their passwords often and keep them confidential for internet banking.

Meanwhile, Bank Negara's Counselling and Credit Management Agency (AKPK) Sabah head Idris bin Kasim who delivered a lecture on "Financial Literacy and Wellbeing", said: a lack of financial literacy knowledge, the refusal to learn and a spendthrift lifestyle aggravate insolvency woes in the country."

From school till university, financial wisdom is not taught to students.

Hence, he called for financial literacy knowledge to be taught in educational establishments like what Bank Negara and AKPK are doing for the public.

"It also involved a lifelong habit of saving, keeping to a budget for expenses and generating alternative sources of legal income, planning to make money work for us, planning and managing debt effectively and having a risk management plan to avoid financial losses.

"Hence we need to heighten our financial literacy knowledge and life management of expenses.

"We need to control our emotional, egoistic and greedy wants from envious feelings, desires using our head to think rationally rather than succumbing to our heart's desires. "Postpone our wants, fulfil our needs.

Live within our means," Idris told the audience.

Bank Negara has tightened qualification for credit card applicants as well as other loans.

Today the retirement age has been raised from 55 to 60 years, but statistics show that many have insufficient retirement funds to live out a longer mortality rate into the 70-year age bracket independently, Idris said.


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