Penang tackles online scams head-on


IN today’s State Legislative Assembly session, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow revealed a concerning 45% surge in various online scam cases in Penang this year, as per the Royal Malaysia Police statistics.


“Until Sept 30 this year, a total of 2,363 scam investigation papers were opened, surpassing the total for the entire year of 2022, which was 1,632,” Chow replied Lee Boon Heng (PH – Kebun Bunga) today.


In response to this global issue, the police have implemented strategies, including the ‘Semak Mule’ app, Scam Central National Response Centre (NSRC), and a comprehensive commercial crime prevention campaign.


Chow explained that the ‘Semak Mule’ app allows people to verify the credibility of bank account numbers and online contacts.


“The ‘Semak Mule’ application is an initiative that was introduced by the police Commercial Crime Investigation Department to allow people to check the credibility of bank account numbers and contacts shared online.


Detailing the NSRC’s role, he mentioned that its primary function is to receive complaints from scam victims, especially those scammed through online transactions.


Additionally, the commercial crime prevention campaign adopts both online and physical approaches, targeting various entities.


Responding to a supplementary question by Lee about the state government’s plans to raise awareness about online scams in all 40 constituencies, Chow stated that there have been 385 relevant activities conducted in the state.


“We will continue to pay more attention to this issue and organise more campaigns to curb it,” Chow affirmed the commitment to monitor and address the issue.


Story by Kevin Vimal
Pix by Ahmad Adil Muhamad