Banks: We will not request sensitive customer information via phone calls

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In an ongoing combat of phone scams, the Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) and the Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM) have issued a press release to remind the public that member banks will NEVER ask for sensitive customer information. This includes online banking usernames and passwords, and credit or debit card numbers via phone calls.

If there are any suspicions of irregular transactions, only then the banks may call customers to seek clarification. During these calls, banks may perform a verification check using partial personal information such as requesting for the last 4 digits of NRIC, to ascertain the identity of customers. This measure is taken to safeguard customers' accounts and ensure the continued security of their financial information.

Should you receive a normal or foreign phone number claiming to be a bank officer, you should immediately hang up and not entertain them further. Be familiar with a bank's official customer service hotline and also never give away your SMS OTP or TAC numbers if you have never performed any action in the first place. 

Since July 2023, the banking industry has implemented the five key measures to further defend against scams, including replacing SMS OTP with a more secure authentication method; tightening fraud detection rules; performing a cooling-off period for first-time registration of online banking access; allowing only a single mobile device or secure device to be registered; and enabling a 24/7 dedicated complaint channel for customers.

Customers who have fallen victim to scams should immediately call the National Scam Response Centre at 997 or banks’ 24/7 customer service hotlines for assistance. To find the customer service hotline for any bank and learn how to identify the latest scam tactics, customers can visit

To quickly deactivate their online banking access or block credit/ debit cards involved in fraudulent transactions, customers can also opt to use the Kill Switch feature via the online banking platform or mobile banking app. Last week, a 57-year-old woman almost lost all of her RM150,000 savings to a phone scam but luckily, she was saved by a Maybank staff who was around. You can read about the feel-good story right here