I would like to share with you a HSE-related matter that happened to me yesterday during work, this is regarding a very elaborated credit card scam call.
I received a call from an unknown local number, a lady on the other end of the phone identified herself as Ms. Wong from the Credit Card Collection Department of UOB Bank HQ in Jalan Raja Laut. She then went on to explain that I have an outstanding credit card bill of RM 8199.90 that I needed to clear up. The only thing is, I do not have any credit cards with UOB. She sounded surprised and then convinced me that the credit card was indeed under my name as she spelled out my full name, IC number, and personal phone number. Upon hearing this, I asked for more details from her, and she actually gave me the credit card number, when and where the account was opened (Kulai branch in Johor, which I have not been to) and also a Johor home address which she said was used for the application. She also went through the detailed transactions with me, Sony Centre and Poh Kong jewelery among others. At this point, I was convinced that somebody somehow managed to grab hold of my personal details and opened a credit card account with UOB, and went on a shopping spree. She said this was a very serious matter and that banks normally take it seriously. She told me that she would freeze the credit card account and by procedure, banks have to contact some sort of credit card scam department in Bank Negara, and that Bank Negara would call me to investigate, if I could prove that the spending wasn't my doing, I would not have to worry about the outstanding balance. She also said I could launch a police report at the same time if I wanted to. I got as much details out of her as I could, then hung up.
Within 2 minutes or so after I hung up the phone, another man called me up, identifying himself as a personnel from Bank Negara and that they have received a report from UOB. At this point, I knew something was fishy as everything happened too quickly. I told him I was at work and that I would call back. Then I called up UOB Customer Service to clarify if the account indeed existed. They confirmed that the account is non-existent and no accounts were opened under my name/IC number. I explained everything to the REAL UOB and they said they would investigate the matter.
Apparently, this is a very common and elaborated scam targeted at people who are gullible. They would first convince you that someone had opened a credit card under your name, and that the 'bank' will do their best to help you rectify the situation, in this case, by reporting to 'Bank Negara'. These people are obviously very professional as the lady who spoke to me was able to answer every single one of my queries confidently, although most details that she gave me, except my personal info, were most likely fake. The whole time the conversation was going on, there were background noises that sounded like an actual bank environment - phone ringing etc. Once potential victims are convinced, 'Bank Negara' will call you up and explain that they will try to solve the matter for you, and ask for your personal info including your actual bank account and credit card details. In a flustered situation, some may let slip vital information that will allow them to siphon money out of your actual accounts or credit cards. The act of asking you to launch a police report is obviously a tactic to make everything seem more real, and they are pretty confident that by the time you do launch a report, they would have successfully obtained your details and completed their transactions.
I urge everyone to be more careful and observant when dealing with bank calls. This exact scam was explained and reported in the newspaper last year and I have actually read through the entire article and yet it did not occur to me until I received the second call within a short time span. I have received genuine calls from banks before regarding other matters and hence I did not suspect anything at first. Some of my friends had also experienced the same thing but with different 'bank' names being used. As long as you own a house, car, bank account, or have applied for anything in the past that required your personal details, you are vulnerable to this sort of scam, all it takes is someone who sells out your information to these culprits.
Be extra careful.