More complaints now on online frauds than price hike, says KPDNHEP

As of July, online fraud cases made up of 26.2% of the monthly average complaints at 2,500

By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic By ARIF KARTONO & AFP

CASES involving online transaction fraud have been the most filed consumer complaints to the government, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said.

Saifuddin Nasution says the ministry continues to provide security to consumers through raising the penalty for the Consumer Claims Tribunal for traders

He said as of July, online fraud cases made up of 26.2% of the monthly average complaints at 2,500, surpassing the previously most recorded complaint on price hike.

“Online cheating also has surpassed the previous top complaint, which was the price hike,” Saifuddin Nasution told reporters at the launch of MyPay in Putrajaya yesterday.

“This way of business is supposed to provide reliability and conveniences, but it has proven otherwise as sellers keep breaking the business ethics,” he added.

Last month, the highest complaint lodged to the ministry was price hike, consisting 30.8% of the total reports, followed by e-commerce frauds with 20.8%.

The most common complaints for e-commerce fraud are receiving different items than what have been ordered, receiving faulty items and long shipment period.

Saifuddin Nasution said the ministry continues to provide security to consumers through raising the penalty for the Consumer Claims Tribunal for traders.

“As a governing body for the businesses, we had raised the consumer tribunal award from RM25,000 to RM50,000 due to the rising number of online fraud,” he said.

Last month, the amendment of the Consumer Protection Act 1999 was passed in the Parliament which would allow for the Consumer Claims Tribunal’s jurisdiction to hear cases with claims up to RM50,000.

Previously, the tribunal was only permitted to handle cases of claims within the amount of RM25,000.

Failure to abide by the jurisdiction of the Consumer Claims Tribunal will lead to a fine of RM10,000 or a jail sentence of not more than two years or both as stipulated in Section 117 of the Act.

The tribunal, formed under the Consumer Protection Act 1999, is an alternative dispute resolution platform.

Saifuddin Nasution said at present, up to 3,000 online businesses have been certified with BizTrust digital certification introduced by the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM), which is still low from the minister’s estimation.

“Although it is not mandatory for online businesses to have this certification, BizTrust will add another layer of security to the consumers and help them to avoid fraud,” he said.

BizTrust is a standard certification introduced by CCM in 2017 to provide customer guarantees for online-based businesses.

Separately, Dapat Vista Sdn Bhd has launched an online-based transaction service for servicing payments to the government.

At present, MyPay has payment connections to various government-based entities such as the National Higher Education Fund Corp, Subang Jaya Municipal Council, Election Commission Malaysia, RAM Credit Information Sdn Bhd and Selangor Land and Mines Office.