Telecommunication fraud is increasing dramatically each year resulting in huge financial losses to victims. However, people are more aware these days and are coming forward to report such incidents.
Lee Yon Seng, 58, had to deal with arrears in payment of his phone bills amounting to RM1324.95. This was despite him having terminated the phone service provided by Telekom Malaysia (TM).
During a media brief by Mohd Rawi Abdullah, chief of the Perak Barisan Nasional Public Services and Complaints Centre at his Canning Garden office on Thursday, March 12, Rawi alluded to two classic cases.
Lee Yon Seng, 58, had terminated telephone service registered under his company, Yin Fat Enterprise, when his company wound up in 2011. Two years later Lee received a letter saying that he owed the national telecommunication company RM1324.95.
“I’ve already paid all my dues. This bill does not belong to me. They told me it was for a different account under my name. I was shocked,” said Lee.
“It was a different company name but the line was registered under my name. Obviously, someone was using my name to cheat. Not wanting to be blacklisted, I paid the bill. I hope TM will investigate and don’t come after me for more money because it’s not my account,” Lee protested.
According to Rawi, many such incidents had happened in the past where previous owners’ names had appeared on applications for telephone lines by businesses, legal and illegal, including ah-longs (loan sharks). “Police should be able to detect these wrongdoers,” he said.
The second victim, Wong Kok Yew, was forced to pay for two mobile internet packages offered by another telco.
“I subscribed to Package A but wanted to switch to Package B. I called up the telco and told the officer of my intention. However, when I went to the office to check I found that Package A had not been cancelled although Package B had been activated. I was then billed for both packages,” said Wong.
“The matter was referred to the said company. The answer given was that the company had not received any request to terminate Package A,” said Rawi. “Let’s hope the telcos would act responsibly and stop giving excuses. It’ll only tarnish their reputation,” he added.