Beware of Face Mask Scams!

These are desperate times for all, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t stay vigilant to avoid ourselves from falling victim to scammers who are ready to take advantage of tough situations.

beware of face mask scams!Photo: tirachardz 

Since the start of the Movement Control Order (MCO), the police have recorded some 572 cases of face mask sales fraud!

According to senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the police nationwide have received reports of face mask scams amounting to RM5.5 million in losses.

“The scams were mostly run on Facebook and WhatsApp social media platforms. Selangor alone recorded 122 cases, followed by Johor and Penang with 68 each,” he said during his daily press briefing today.

Out of the total of the recorded cases, 81 individuals have so far been arrested and 53 charged in court.

Ismail Sabri warned the public to be extra careful of suspicious-looking online offers and to always check whether the companies that are selling these face masks are legitimate and have good reviews.

“Nowadays, face masks are in plentiful supply everywhere, including pharmacies. Please avoid these scams online when they seem too cheap,” he said.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim concurs with the findings, as he reported yesterday that cases involving fraudulent sales of face masks, hand sanitizers and gloves have been on the rise with 87 face masks scams identified, mostly involving online sales platforms.

According to him, the transactions between victims and “sellers” usually occur via social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and as well as chatting apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat.

In some cases, sellers disappeared and can no longer be contacted after payments were made by buyers. Even their social media connection would be blocked.

These cases are being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property.

So, beware of these scammers and stay safe, everyone!

By: Siti Farhana Sheikh Yahya