So you’re in your office one day and you get a call from a private number. You’re kinda prepared for a scam because of all the coverage you’ve been reading about the PDRM or Macau scams, but you pick up anyway; knowing fully well that they can’t scam you ‘cause you #woke. As the line connects, the person on the other end identifies themselves as a PIDM officer. You’re suddenly shook, so you ask:
“Wait, don’t you mean PDRM?”
You may vaguely recall hearing their name on the radio or seeing their logo in your bank, something about insurance. One thing leads to another, and you agree to sign up for PIDM protection.
Congratulations, you’ve just been scammed.
Yup, with the general public getting wise to their tactics, scammers have now moved on to impersonating the PIDM, or Perbadanan Insurans Deposit Malaysia. Before we head into how these scams work though, let’s take a look at what the PIDM actually does.
PIDM works to protect you
Chances are, you would have heard PIDM’s ad on the radios recently (you can check out all their advertisements here if you haven’t) so you would have a working idea of what PIDM is but let’s break it down in detail for you guys. The easiest way to think of PIDM is as an insurance for your bank deposit and insurance benefits.
But wait, does that mean that PIDM is an insurance company? Nope. PIDM is a government agency that administers two protection systems: the Deposit Insurance System (“DIS”) and the Takaful and Insurance Benefits Protection System (“TIPS”).
The DIS protects the deposits you place in PIDM member bank against any loss in the event of the bank’s failure (such as bankruptcy) for up to RM250,000 per depositor per member bank. If you would like to read more about how your deposits are protected, click here.
On the other hand, TIPS protects you, as an insurance policy holder or a takaful certificate holder, from the loss of your benefits in the event that your insurer is unable to honour your policy. For example, if your insurer goes bankrupt and is unable to pay your medical bills, PIDM will step in.
Depending on your takaful certificate or insurance policy, PIDM protects your eligible takaful or insurance benefits up to RM500,000 or more. For more information on the various coverages, click here.
This protection from PIDM is also automatic, meaning that you don’t even need to sign up for it. It takes effect the moment your bank account, takaful certificate, or insurance policy is activated.
Sure or not? Nothing good ever comes free, right? If PIDM functions like an insurer, won’t I need to pay premiums to them? Well, you would be happy to know that...
PIDM never takes money from the public
Protip: If someone asks you to pay for PIDM protection then it’s a scam for sure. Scams involving PIDM can take on one of four forms:
PIDM’s protection is always free and automatic for the public. As a matter of fact, PIDM’s member institutions (banks, takaful operators and insurance providers) are the ones required to pay PIDM annual levies and premiums which go into funds that would be used to reimburse your deposits, takaful and insurance benefits if they go bankrupt. For the full list of PIDM’s members, click here for member banks and here for insurer members.
The key thing here is: PIDM does not cover loans. And again, if you hear the word ‘payment’, you know that this is one thing you cannot trust.
There is an actual account of this scam and you can read more about it here.
PIDM will only reimburse you in the event of the failure of your bank or insurer. This means that your protection from PIDM only kicks in when your bank or insurer fails and closes down after it becomes bankrupt. They do not protect you against scams.
The certificate (like the one shown above) claims to be issued by the Malaysia Deposit Insurance Corporation (which is what the PIDM is known as internationally).
To reinforce the above points, we spoke to PIDM and they told us this:
“The protection is automatic and free – no sign-ups or fees required. We will also not ask for your personal and/or financial details.” – PIDM, in email reply to ASKLEGAL
In addition to your protection being automatic, another important thing to note is that if you ever qualify for a reimbursement, this is also automatic. You don’t need to make a claim because PIDM will announce how and when the reimbursement would be made.
TLDR; if you ever get a call from the PIDM, it’s probably a scam. Which means that if “PIDM” calls...
You call the real PIDM instead
The moment you get a call from “PIDM”, tell them that you will contact them back via the official channels which are:
- Hotline – 1800 88 1266
- Email – email@example.com
IMPORTANT NOTE – DO NOT USE WHATEVER CONTACT DETAILS THAT THE CALLER GIVES TO YOU.
If the actual PIDM confirms that you have been a target of a scam, proceed to lodge a report with Bank Negara as well as the police.
All in all, always remember the important steps when dealing with a potential scammer:
- Never divulge personal and/or financial details when not dealing in person
- Never accept their offer to transfer a call to another institution such as the police
- Never rely on numbers given by the caller; do your own research
- Always take control of the conversation by asking for their details and requesting to meet in person
- Don’t be intimidated – remember if they are really there to help you, they wouldn’t be pressing you to make hasty decisions or preventing you from communicating with family, friends, or the police
- Try to keep your cool – remember that it’s always okay to ask for a few moments to compose yourself
If you have been a victim of a scam involving the PIDM, do contact them at the given numbers and lodge a report to safeguard your own details.