The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) is planning to introduce a special online business licence as a measure to protect consumers from potential scams or fraud. In 2020 alone, the number of complaints on online transactions have increased to a total of 11,510 compared to 5,414 in 2019, the ministry noted.
Deputy minister Datuk Rosol Wahid said that online merchants will be subject to conditions via the new licence, which would enable consumers to make online purchases without worrying about the legitimacy and reputation of sellers. The special licence would be enforced after amendments are made to the Consumer Protection (eCommerce Transactions) Regulations 2012 under the Consumer Protection Act 1999, he added. Details regarding the expected conditions that will be introduced in this new license have not been disclosed at this time.
For the time being, Rosol is advising consumers to avoid potential scams by checking sellers’ bank account numbers before proceeding with any form of online transactions. For this purpose, he is recommending the public to utilise the PDRM Commercial Crime Investigation Department’s “Semak Mule CCID” website and application.
The minister also noted another similar mobile app known as Idenfic, developed by the National Consumer Action Council (MTPN) and 7echnology Sdn Bhd. The app is currently available on both Google Play and Apple App Store.
As most of us are aware by now, eCommerce has become the more preferred approach for consumers to purchase goods, thanks to the ongoing pandemic. Also riding along with its significant rise is the potential risk of scams and frauds. Needless to say, we strongly advise our readers to always stay vigilant when shopping online and always be wary of too-good-to-be-true and other questionable deals.