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Unauthorised Withdrawals

Unauthorised Withdrawal involves the withdrawal or transfer of funds from an individual's banking account without proper authorisation or consent by the individual. Such incidents are normally the result of an individual knowingly, or unknowingly, divulging their personal information such as personal identification numbers (PIN) and password to fraudulent or third parties.

What are the characteristics?

A total of 400 complaints on unauthorised withdrawals were received by Bank Negara Malaysia in 2009 (165 similar complaints in 2008). Based on investigations, all of these cases were due to customers knowingly or unknowingly divulging their personal information such as personal identification numbers (PIN) and passwords to third parties or fraudulent parties.

The transactions involved were genuine, using complainants' account information and followed the required process. CCTV recordings had captured the complainants activating access to Internet banking at ATMs.

Most complainants were not Internet savvy and failed to understand that their own actions had led to the fraudulent withdrawal of funds from their accounts.

How it's done?

  • In most cases, victims of unauthorised withdrawals had received an unidentified SMS (from fraudster) to inform them that they have won a cash prize.

  • To claim the promised cash prize, the victim is informed that they have to open an internet banking account. 

  • The victim then contacts the fraudster and the fraudster will provide a step-by-step guide on how to register and activate their internet banking account using the ATM terminal.

  • At point of registration at the ATM terminal, the victim will be given an internet banking personal identification number (PIN). The fraudster will ask the victim for this PIN and use it to create an internet banking account for the victim. 

  • The fraudster will then ask the victim to register the fraudster’s mobile phone number in order to obtain an Authorisation Code to enable transfer of funds via internet banking. 

  • This will result in the Authorisation Code being sent via SMS directly to the fraudster’s mobile phone. The victim has now unknowingly provided the fraudster with full access to their banking account.

How to Protect Yourself?

  • Do not respond to 'too good to be true" SMS or call from unknown person
  • Be sceptical of any SMS claims that you have won cash prizes in competitions you never enter;
  • Be extra careful - protect your personal banking details and never reveal your PIN to anyone; and
  • In case an arrangement has been made, keep copies of all the communication records and documentation

How to Report?

You can report directly to Bank Negara Malaysia via the following communication channels:

Call: 1-300-88-5465 (1-300-88-LINK)
Fax: 03-2174 1515
SMS to 15888: BNM TANYA [your report / query]
Email: bnmtelelink@bnm.gov.my

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