PETALING JAYA: Victims of online scams say it is time the government comes down hard on the fraudsters.
Elaikha, an owner of a clothing brand, said photos of her product were abused by scammers who used it to fish for victims.
Despite many reports to the social media platform concerned, she said more fell victim to the scam.
“I reported to the platform owner but nothing happened because these scammers kept on changing their usernames,” she said.
She said there should be better cooperation between the relevant authorities for the problem to be resolved.
“We have the semakmule website, which is quite easy to use, but how serious are the authorities in taking action?
“They should join forces with telecommunication providers and terminate the numbers reported,” she said.
Another victim, Ziela Abdullah, 33, said the relevant authorities should act quickly on reports on scams.
Sharing her experience, she said she was pushed from one authority to another, adding that five months after her report, she has yet to receive any update.
“It was my first time using the marketplace on Facebook, I never bought anything online. But I saw a very cheap Kelisa, so I thought of buying,” she said.
“I paid RM500 as a deposit but the next day I felt that something was wrong, so I called the number on the receipt and I was told by the owner of the workshop that he received several other calls as well asking for the same car, which he did not have.
“When I lodged a police report I was asked to go to the bank, but the bank said they only give information to the police and I was told to go to the tribunal for consumer claims.
“I called the tribunal, but someone said they did not handle such cases!” she lamented.
Ziela said her attempts to seek details on the whereabouts of the scammers from the telecommunication provider proved futile.
“I am not the only one who fell for the scammer; others that I know of lost RM5,000 and RM6,000, yet nothing happened. I am told that the scammer is still very much active,” she said.
A female civil servant who lost RM200 to a scammer who paraded Hari Raya outfits for sale lauded the government’s move to vet online sales, adding that the move to introduce a licence would create more confidence among consumers.
She said the government should also provide an online marketplace for people to sell and shop without having to worry about being scammed.
“Having these sites would also prevent the public from engaging and falling for scammers on social media,” she said.
She suggested that the government introduce an app for users to prevent scams.
“Now we have the Truecaller app but not all phone numbers can be detected, so maybe this is something that can be looked into,” she said.
Muhammad Nor Izzudin Hamzah, 32, who lost nearly RM19,000 to an online cleaning service scam, said there was a need for continuous monitoring of social media sales.
“The authorities must resolve every report lodged by victims,” he said.
“There is certainly a need for improved cybersecurity.”