PENANG: Unscrupulous trade associations and organisations were found to have sold information including personal particulars of their members for between 50sen and RM1 each to agencies whose salesmen will later harass these members with various promotional offers.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry parliamentary secretary Wong Kam Hoong said the particulars included the names of members, their addresses and telephone numbers.
“We have questioned a few companies in Malacca, which have been found using a similar modus operandi to obtain the details of prominent businessmen from associations.
“In some cases, the staff employed by the associations are the culprits who sell the information for a fast buck,” he said at his service centre in Jalan Paya Terubong on Sunday.
Wong said specific laws should be tabled to protect a person’s personal particulars, similar to the one observed by banks under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act.
He also advised the public to be cautious when giving away their identity cards (ICs) to be photocopied, noting that irresponsible persons could use it to apply for credit cards and housing loans.
“If necessary, you should consider crossing your IC photocopies with the words, “Not for Loan Application Purposes”, to ensure it is not misused,” he said.
On the trend of scratch-and-win coupons and free holiday offer letters mailed to residential houses, Wong advised households to come forward and lodge complaints with the ministry.
“This is an approach used by unethical businessmen to lure consumers into buying their products. Be careful and don’t be greedy because nothing in this world comes free,” he said.
He also noted that the ministry had issued a circular to time-sharing agencies and companies selling travel plans warning them against hard selling.
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