If it’s too good to be true, then chances are, it most likely is. That is the advice that many of us have been reminded of time and time again, especially when shopping online in the wake of so many social media scams that have claimed innumerable victims. Unfortunately in the case of one Malaysian, that would prove to be a lesson that she would have to learn through experience.
M’sian woman gets scammed by online bag seller
In a post shared by popular local television host Jianghan, he explains how a local netizen had recently been duped by an online scammer who masqueraded as a bag seller, after having contacted their shop to learn more about a Chanel bag they had listed for sale. As indicated by screenshots of their correspondence, the victim initially inquired for more details about the bag in question, all of which were promptly answered by the ‘seller’.
She was then told by the representative that if she was keen on purchasing the bag, they could offer it to her at an introductory price of only RM5,000, inclusive of shipping costs. Keep in mind that Chanel bags retail for over RM10,000 on the resell market, especially for newer bags such as the one being sold by the shop.
Expressing her interest, the victim proceeded to ask about the payment terms and was informed that she could split the price of the bag into multiple installments. However, she would be required to pay 50% up-front as part of her first installment, while the remainder of the amount can be divided for up to six months.
Seller provided receipt and authenticity card as proof
Suspiciously enough when asked a second time about the price, the seller then offered the bag to the victim for RM5,800. Understandably given the amount of money involved in the transaction, the victim asked for more paperwork to verify the bag’s authenticity, such as a receipt and the bag’s authenticity card. Both were provided by the seller, which allayed the victim’s concerns.
Upon completing a form, she was then told to transfer 50% of the bag’s price as part of her first installment which amounted to RM2,900, and the bag would then be sent out to her. Understandably, the victim did try checking with the ‘seller’ if she was entitled to a refund if the product fell below her expectations, or was found to be a fake, to which the seller said she was and promised her a 100% money back guarantee.
Suddenly told her she must pay off the bag completely to receive it
With her concerns seemingly allayed, she proceeded to wire the amount to the scammer and requested for the payment terms to be split into 6 months. However, the scammer then went back on their word and told her that she would have to completely pay off the bag first, before it can be shipped out to her. Keep in mind that previously, they told her that she only needed to pay the first 50% installment amount to receive the bag!
Shocked by the sudden change in arrangement, the victim demanded for a refund due to how the terms have changed, but the ‘seller’ remained adamant and only apologised for the confusion and told her to pay off the remaining amount if she wanted to secure the bag. They even told her that they are not able to perform any refunds, as the bag has been ‘stored’.
Understandably frustrated, the victim demanded to know who the owner of the bag was, and if she could contact them over this sudden change. But the scammer told her that she could only deal with her directly, and that the ‘owner’ was willing to part ways with the bag with a discount. Relenting, the victim then transferred the remaining RM2,300 to the scammer. What’s more, the scammer even offered her a 30% discount off her future purchases over the ‘inconvenience’ caused.
However, the victim would never come to receive the bag that she paid for despite chasing after the seller for a tracking number. Being told a number of different excuses, the seller eventually stopped responding altogether and made off with her money.
According to Jianghan, he was told by the victim that she has lodged a police report over the matter. Which goes to show, you should always have your wits about you when you’re online! And remember: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is!