Tuesday, 10 Nov 2020
PETALING JAYA: It’s time once again for the 11.11 online sale, but consumers have been urged to be wary of scammers pretending to be legitimate sellers.
Over 1,520 complaints on the sale of goods online through social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were received by the National Consumer Complaints Centre (NCCC) over the past 10 months.
“Many have complained that their purchased goods never reached them, ” NCCC senior manager S. Baskaran told The Star Tuesday (Nov 10).
He said the NCCC wanted to warn consumers before the annual online sale begins at 12.01am Wednesday (Nov 11).
“Online shoppers need to be wary each time they buy from online platforms, especially social media.
“Some scammers will disguise themselves as authentic sellers and use the 11.11 sale as their platform to trick more gullible consumers.
“Consumers need to verify if the seller is genuine first. Don’t be an easy prey, ” Baskaran added.
He said recently, scammers have been luring victims by advertising items on social media that are far below market price.
“Unsuspecting consumers only realise they have been duped when the items do not arrive, or are not the ones they ordered.
“Some received fake items. By then, it will be too late as the scammers would have blocked the buyers and changed their social media ID, ” he said.
Another tactic used is to entice youths to buy electronic items or other products at much cheaper prices, and offer a free gift with it.
The scammer will later inform the victim that the item is stuck with the Customs Department or other agencies in another country.
“The seller will then harass the buyer to pay for the clearance or face being reported to the relevant agencies and police.
“If something feels like it is too good to be true, it most likely is fake, ” Baskaran added.
Before making online payments to the sellers, he advised consumers to check the bank account number or phone number of the seller through the "Semak Mule" application created by the police to identify if the account holder is a scammer.
Consumers can also log on to the website at ccid.rmp.gov.my/semakmule/
To lodge a consumer complaint, go to the NCCC’s website at www.nccc.org.my