Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures


Lately there have been a lot of complaints about unsolicited calls and sms from unknown companies or persons purporting to represent financial institutions. I don’t know about other people but based on my personal experience, these calls and sms-es have increased in frequency this year.

We all know about the privacy protection provisions in the Banking and Financial Institutions Act 1989 but as with the number of calls we get on a daily/weekly/monthly basis, I don’t think anyone gives a toss for legislation nowadays.

In the past 3 days alone, I’ve received 2 calls – the 1st from someone speaking Cantonese asking if I would be interested in a personal loan and the 2nd from someone who said she was from Standard Chartered Bank speaking Mandarin telling me about their credit facilities. In the past, I’d be patient and listen to their sales natter before declining but these days, my patience is wearing thin and I cut them off even before they’ve finished their sentence.

As if this isn’t bad enough, there are also calls from private hospitals offering free health checks/screening and time-sharing companies offering free stays at selected hotels in Malaysia provided I turn up for their hour-long video presentation  and talk. Oh yeah, we all know what the objective is, don’t we? There’s really no such thing as a free stay without strings attached.

The thing is – if we really, really needed a loan, how many of us would sit pretty and wait for some telemarketer to call us to offer credit facilities. Wouldn’t we drive ourselves to the nearest bank and apply for said facilities of our own accord? Why would anyone wait for THE call before jumping at the opportunity to avail themselves of loans?

Since I haven’t given met the telemarketers who claim they represent a certain bank, I can only assume they are genuine but how can we know they’re genuine unless we visit them at their business premises? For all I know, the telemarketer could be calling from Ulan Bator.

Then there are the innumerable sms flooding into our inbox offering all kinds of credit facilities. How do these people get hold of our phone numbers in the 1st place? They know our names and I’d say they probably know our addresses as well. It’s getting out of hand and I can imagine there might be weaker-willed people who wouldn’t say no to easy loans.

On 2 occasions, I have received RM5,000 unsolicited cash cheques from my bank, both of which I’ve shredded immediately. With loans handed to us on virtually silver platters, we might well be turning into a society of eternal debtors and that doesn’t augur well at all.


  1. I am always wondering where on earth did they get our name and phone number… paying with credit card and all those registration forms we filled in at beauty salon or any roadshow might be misused by someone… I even received an sms claiming from a political party some time ago.. =.=