Trade ministry battles with online scams, 3,000 complaints received since last year

PUTRAJAYA: Online scams running rampant in the country as the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry have reported of receiving more than 3,000 complaints to date since last year.

Its division director Datuk Mohd Roslan Mahayudin stated that the ministry has received 3,707 complaints from last year until July 13.

Roslan also said the ministry had asked the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to take down about 50 contents posted on various online marketplace sites this year alone as these posts were scams.

The enforcement chief urged consumers to keep all documents when they make online purchases including payment receipt, URL/domain, screenshot copies of their messages with the sellers and bank statements involved in the sale transactions as evidence to be submitted when bringing cases before the Malaysian Consumer Claims Tribunal.

For now the online marketplace operators themselves, he said, who supervised sellers on their websites must keep the information of their clients, including their names, addresses and contact details for two years as required by the Consumer Protection (Electronic Trade Transactions) Regulations 2012.

“When they do so, the authorities can track down the sellers involved. The Companies Commission of Malaysia is in the process of formulating special laws to regulate one-off online sellers.

“However, for now, the ministry do not require online marketplace operators to check sellers’ identification cards or ‘MyKad’ before allowing them to advertise their products on the website,” said Roslan.

He reminded consumers to be vigilant when they made online purchases by taking several measures including conducting background check on sellers and to avoid making full payments for the ordered goods.