The Finance Ministry (MOF) has reminded beneficiaries of the eBeliaRahmah aid programme not to put themselves at risk of falling prey to scams by attempting to cash out the RM200 credit received.
In a statement to Bernama regarding the issue, MOF acknowledged that there have been cases of recipients being scammed after they opted to use cash-out services offered on social media platforms, in return for cash via fund transfer.
“There have been cases shared on social media of recipients falling prey to scams after using ‘cash-out services’, where recipients do not hear from the individuals after making the transfers. When that happens, the government will not be able to compensate the beneficiaries,” the ministry said via a written response provided by its Corporate Communications team.
MOF explained that recipients do not have to cash out their eBeliaRahmah credit, which puts them at huge risk of being scammed, as the funds can be used at over 1.7 million businesses nationwide, and to pay for services and online purchases through DuitNow.
DuitNow is an e-payment system that uses interoperable QR codes to allow Malaysians to make payments and receive funds from any registered bank and e-wallet platforms, with just one QR code.
MOF said the attempt to cash out the funds defeats the intended purpose of the programme which aimed to help youth aged 18 to 20, and full-time higher education institution (IPT) students to familiarise themselves with cashless payment facilities and at the same time, ease their financial burden.
“There is no need to cash out the eBeliaRahmah credit and potentially fall prey to scammers. We must not allow a small group of people to derail this well-intended government effort through cash-out services that defeat the purpose of the programme,” it said.
According to the ministry, by cashing out the funds, recipients and merchants alike had broken the terms and conditions set for the programme that said ‘the RM200 is not to be cashed out or transferred peer-to-peer’.
It said actions have been taken by participating e-wallet providers against individuals who misuse their e-merchant facilities to provide cash-out services such as barring their account.
As such, the ministry has called upon recipients to only make physical purchases from participating merchants using accepted e-wallet platforms and to not attempt to cash out the funds, especially through services advertised on social media.
“We also call on social media users to report to platforms like Facebook or Instagram if they come across advertisements offering to help recipients to cash out their eBeliaRahmah credit,” it said.
When asked if MOF is looking into improving the roll-out mechanism for the programme in light of this issue, it said public feedback on the initiative which was crafted to cater to both the youth and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) indicated that most recipients do not have problems applying for the initiative and many retail outlets now accept payments via e-Wallet, including those in rural areas.
“The government is open to public suggestions on improving its delivery system, whether it’s eBeliaRahmah or other initiatives. Those with suggestions can write to us through “Suarakan Pendapat Anda” at www.mof.gov.my/portal/pendapat,” it said.
Earlier, Bernama reported that there were rampant advertisements of cash-out services for EbeliaRahmah funds on social media after it was credited to beneficiaries starting last Monday (June 26).
However, many had shared on their social media postings that they had become victims of scams after engaging with such services, as they never received back their funds back, as promised by the purported ‘services’, or rather, scammers.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency