Senior minister: Covid-19 face mask fraud cases involving losses of RM4.2m reported

Members of the public are seen going about wearing face masks in Kuala Lumpur, March 14, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Members of the public are seen going about wearing face masks in Kuala Lumpur, March 14, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 — Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today said that face mask scams in the country have resulted in losses amounting to RM4.2 million since the start of the movement control order (MCO).

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said a majority of the scams involving face masks were via social media.

He said police will take firm action against scammers but urged the public to be more aware and vigilant about such scams.

“Potential buyers can also verify the seller’s bank account before making payment through the police’s Commercial Crime Investigation Department’s ‘Semakmule’ portal or the online seller’s status at: www.biztrust.ssm.com.my.

“Please don’t fall prey to cheap face mask and other items. Do check with the portal as losses due to such scams is estimated to be at RM4.2 million,” said Ismail during his daily security briefings on Covid-19.

Meanwhile, Ismail said the police and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had opened 229 investigation papers relating to Covid-19 fake news today compared to 220 investigation papers yesterday.

Of the figure, he said 161 cases are still under investigation, while 24 have been charged in court and 13 have pleaded guilty.

“11 person have been given warning notices, while 33 have been classified under no further action (NFA),” said Ismail.

Last week, Ismail warned of severe repercussions for individuals for allegedly spreading fake news on the Covid-19 outbreak.

He also reportedly said that the authorities can still carry on with their investigations even if the postings have been deleted.

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