KUALA LUMPUR — April 4, 2016: Police have recorded 556 cases of face mask scams involving RM4.2 million this year, the bulk of which occurred during the ongoing movement control order (MCO).
Five hundred and one cases occurred from March 18, the start of the MCO.
A total of 29 men and 10 women have been arrested, with 22 charged.
According to federal police Commercial Crime Investigation director Datuk Seri Mohd. Zakaria Ahmad, the usual modus operandi is to advertise the sale of masks on social media, with an account number given for buyers to transfer money. Once payment is made, the social media account is deactivated.
Pictures of face masks on the scammers’ sites are lifted from the pages of other companies.
Zakaria advised the public to check the validity of sellers and their account numbers through his department’s SemakMule portal.
A total of 401 scams were via Facebook, 65 via WhatsApp, 27 via Mudah.my, 16 cases each on WeChat and Instagram and 10 at Shopee.
Zakaria also denied a report that claimed supplies of face masks from China to Sabah had been blocked from distribution by police.