Digital Solution Helps Preventing Scammers From Taking Advantages On The Public

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Press Statement by Julian Tan:

The Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) has been extended from May 12 to June 9 with more economic sectors allowed to resume operations to facilitate the government’s efforts to restart the economy. Some of the SOPs required by mall operators include requiring customers to fill in their names, phone numbers and some went to the extent of requiring them to fill in NRIC numbers. While it is understood that such steps are essential for contact tracing, it is not without its concern that such sensitive personal information can be misused should it fall into the wrong hand.

Scammers are taking advantage of the public’s fear of the Covid-19 outbreak and anxiety over the movement control order (MCO) with calls, SMSes and emails. According to Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Mazlan Mansor, during the MCO period alone, 393 cases of fraud involving the sale of face masks were reported nationwide, with losses amounting to RM1.1mil. They are taking advantage of the latest ‘trend’. Others were flooded with automated phone calls on outstanding traffic summonses or parcel delivery to trick them into handing over money. The list goes on.

The government can look into digital solutions when it comes into the collection of personal data such as name, NRIC number and mobile phone number. Government platforms should be used and to be stored in a government server. The data can quickly be accessed by the authorities when needed for contact tracing purposes. Digital solution can be done at entry points through the scanning of a QR code displayed at the venue or with NRIC card reader linked to government server. A computer can also be use with access to government website that allows registered operators or customers to manually keyed in required data for customers that do not have a smart phone.

Digital solution will ensure the protection of customer’s privacy, accuracy and usefulness of the data collected and reduced the time spent at the premises, it also allows digital contact tracing thus reducing the time needed to identify potential close contacts of COVID19 patients.