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426 fraudulent face mask sale cases reported

27 Mar 2020 / 22:05 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 426 fraud cases with regard to the sale of face masks have been reported nationwide during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period until yesterday, with losses amounting to RM3 million.

Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department deputy director Datuk Saiful Azly Kamaruddin said 30 individuals, including 10 local women, have been arrested on suspicion of being involved in selling fake face masks on social media.

He said all the cases were being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for fraud and police were now tracking the remaining members of the syndicate, adding that of the 30 arrested, 19 have been charged unti yesterday.

He said all the deals were made via WhatsApp and the syndicate would also provide tracking numbers to deceive the buyers, but once payment had been made the suspects would disappear and their social media access blocked.

Saiful Azly said police constantly reminded the public through various social media alerts like on WhatsApp, Facebook Cyber Crime Alert, ‘crawlers’ on major television channels and in cooperation with the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission to raise awareness about the sale of masks.

He also advised the public to refer to the ‘Semakmule’ portal and the online status of sellers via http://biztrust.ssm.com.my before purchasing to avoid being victims of fraud.

He also reminded the public not to allow anyone to access their personal banking facilities and not to be hasty in making purchases.

The public can contact the CCID Infoline at 013-2111222 for more information, he said.

Meanwhile, Saiful Azly said that so far police have not received any report with regard to the fraudulent sale of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and recycled masks a viralled on social media. — Bernama

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