Youths duped when trying to convert eBeliaRahmah credit to cash

KUALA LUMPUR: Some youths were scammed when they tried to convert eBeliaRahmah credit to cash.

A university student, who only wanted to be known as Nur, 20, lost the RM200 credit she received under the programme after falling prey to a fake service she found on Twitter.

Nur said she needed cash to pay her tuition fees as she did not get a student loan and to cover her daily expenses.

As she could not transfer the e-wallet credit into her bank account, Nur searched on Twitter for a way to convert it into cash.

"I looked up 'ebelia service' and 'ebelia cash' (on Twitter) and found that many people had done the same thing."

Nur found a user who claimed to offer the service and contacted him.

"That night, after I transferred the eBelia credit to him, he shared a screenshot with me and told me that the system was busy and that he could not transfer the money to my account.

"It never occurred to me that he was a scammer as he provided proof on Twitter that he had helped many people."

She only realised she had been cheated when the man's Twitter account was deactivated the next day and she still had not received the money in her bank account.

A public university student, who only wanted to be known as Sophia, 19, said she knew some university students had converted the eBeliaRahmah credit to cash.

"They need cash to buy things. They paid RM10 for the service.

"They only asked trusted people for help to avoid being scammed."

A Bernama check found many advertisements on social media offering to convert eBeliaRahmah credit to cash, with fees of up to RM15 per transaction. Some offered to do it for free.

The Finance Ministry, in a written reply to Bernama, confirmed that there was fraud involving the eBeliaRahmah programme.

The eBeliaRahmah programme is a government initiative announced in the 2023 Budget to promote cashless transactions and ease the financial burden of youths aged 18 to 20 and full-time university students.

The government began disbursing the RM200 aid from Monday. The credit can be used at premises that accept the Boost, Setel and Touch 'n Go e-wallets.

The programme's terms state that the credit cannot be converted into cash or transferred to other accounts. Action will be taken against aid recipients who do so.

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