KUALA SELANGOR: As more Malaysians buy goods online, an increasing number of them are falling prey to unscrupulous merchants.
With the current year-end festive season, new school term in January and the coming Chinese New Year celebration in February, the number of online scams is likely to soar as more consumers look for bargains.
Selangor Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Department enforcement chief Azman Adam said it has recorded more than 800 complaints pertaining to online transactions as of Dec 23 this year.
“From the cases recorded, the average yearly losses are several hundred thousand ringgit.
“For this year, the worst case involves the purchase of electrical appliances worth RM40,000,” he said after accompanying Selangor Development Officer Datuk Mohd Rosli Ramli to open the festive season price control scheme campaign at Econsave Hypermarket in Alam Jaya here yesterday.
Azman was responding to questions on the growing trend of online purchases in Malaysia and the protection accorded to consumers in e-commerce.
He said many consumers, especially those who are still new to e-commerce, have fallen prey to “limited edition” offers, “best price” and “last day” offers by online sellers.
“When consumers fail to scrutinise the background and details of the sellers, they often end up receiving fake products or none at all.
“Therefore, it is always better to buy from sellers who are registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) with a valid company number,” he said, adding that consumers must always check before purchasing.
Meanwhile, the Penang Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK) carried out a check at Cold Storage in Gurney Plaza as part of the nationwide Festive Season Price Control Scheme for Christmas celebrations.
Penang KPDNKK director Mohd Ridzuan AB Ghapar said the check was to ensure traders sell controlled price items within the ceiling prices set by the government and put pink tags on controlled price items to differentiate them from other items.
“This year, we received 12 complaints from consumers about traders not using pink price tags.
“The total compounds paid was RM2,200 and the items seized were worth RM254.50,” he told a press conference.
Among the list of price-controlled goods are live chicken, standard chicken, super chicken, imported turkey, chicken wings, local and imported boned mutton, chicken eggs from A to C grade, tomato and capsicum.
In West Malaysia, the list of controlled items also include mature live chickens and pork.
The public can channel complaints on traders not complying with regulations by contacting 03-80008000 (1Malaysia One Call Centre), Strategic Operations and Information Centre’s toll-free line 1-800-886-800 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or SMS to 15999 by typing “KPDNKK ADUAN