About a week ago, a very nice fellow Nuffnanger wrote me an e-mail about how things when sometimes sound too good to be true... really are.
I just want to share it with everyone else so you don't fall into the same trap ok?
PS: She requested in the end that I change her name if I were to post this up so... lets just call her Sharon.
Hello there Timothy, Firstly allow me to introduce myself. I'm Sharon , an avid blog reader of yours and I really see great potential in you. I'm having some really big problem here and I don't know who else to turn to apart from you. This is going to be long, but I hope you stay patient with me. :)
Here's how the story goes:
First of all, I was at Dawn's Yang page (www.xanga.com/clapbangkiss) and i spotted an advertisement that she put above her header. I've attached a picture of it as well. The advertisement is regarding the Designer Luxury Brand (http://www.designerluxurybrands.com/), and which girl wouldn't have clicked on it having seen and at 30-70% discount, which obviously was what I did.
The next thing I know, I was signing up for their membership as well as browsing through their items.They sent me an email, of which I've attached the email content: "Dear Ms. Ong,
We welcome you to Designer Luxury Brands.
You can now take part in the various services we have to offer you. Some of these services include:
Permanent Cart - Any products added to your online cart remain there until you remove them, or check them out.
Address Book - We can now deliver your products to another address other than yours! This is perfect to send birthday gifts direct to the birthday-person themselves.
Order History - View your history of purchases that you have made with us.
Products Reviews - Share your opinions on products with our other customers.
For help with any of our online services, please email the store-owner: .
Note: This email address was given to us by one of our customers. If you did not signup to be a member, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org."
The even added me on MSN. That gave me more confidence because there was life support to guide me through my shopping and whatnot. When I'm done with my browsing, I decided, "Alright, I'm gonna get my very first branded bag! Come on, it's RM2000+ in the market and only RM900 here. What a bargain!"
So since it was easier to negotiate and trade through MSN, I was clearly oblivious about it being a fraud.
So I gave them my credit card number, and a picture of my credit card as well as my passport. (I know I am stupid but thank goodness they did not manage to get anything through my credit card and I'm going to cancel it soon!)
They came back to me the next day telling me that they can't accept Malaysian credit card, and that they would need me to do Bank .
This was the details that i was provided with:
Bank Name: United Overseas Bank Limited
Bank Address: 80 Raffles Place, UOB Plaza, Singapore 048624
SWIFT Code: UOVBSGSGXXX
Account Number: 349-110-631-8
Account Holder Name: Mirdat Sufar Amount: SGD $380
So of course I did the payment, with excitement that I'll be getting my bag in 3-5 days after payment has been cleared. I was given hope, and all I got in return was a tight slap. Immediately after payment has been made, I waited until the max of 5 days and yet my bag hasn't arrived. I emailed them at email@example.com but no, they did not reply. Earlier it only took them half an hour, or maximum a few hours to reply to my enquiries.
But this time, it took them days, yet I did not receive any reply.
I started to panic. (RM900 is a lot of money for an 18-year-old like me, you see.) As you can see from the ABOUT US picture I've attached, there's this icon there under LIVE HELP showing whether or not the Life Support is online.
Once i spotted them online, but to my dismay they were offline under my MSN list. I then used another email account to add them at firstname.lastname@example.org and immediately they came to my assistance.
When I finally revealed my identity, they blocked me instantly. I did not give up, I used another account and they added me again IMMEDIATELY. The same process repeated. Then, I knew for sure that I was cheated.
The reason I am telling you this embarrassing story is because I know that you have great potential in spreading the news both in Malaysia and Singapore. (They are based in Singapore by the way.) I do not wish to see anyone else out there to be tempted and fooled by this fraud. I am clearly very hurt, emotionally. (First time kena cheated leh!) I do not know who else I can turn to, which was why I decided to seek your help.
By the way, I know it is almost impossible, but is there any slight possibility of tracking who the Account Holder Name is and then inform the bank regarding this fraud, which will enable me to get my money back?
I hope to hear from you soon, and also hope you can do something about it to raise the awareness of others, especially those in Singapore. I'll be more than happy to provide you more information regarding this, if there's any if your mind.
Thanks Timothy for reading my rants. I really appreciate it! :)
Regards, Sharon Ong. (XXXXX.blogspot.com- I'm a Nuffnanger.) *If you were going to post this somewhere, can you not use my real name? THANKS! =)
My reply to Sharon
I'm currently in Singapore now on business. I was working out of the Singapore office when somebody called the office and spoke to one of my colleagues. Apparently that person had seen the same ad on Dawn Yang's blog, bought the goods and got scammed as well. She thought it might be a Nuffnang ad she saw but it wasn't. We would know and we don't run dodgy dodgy ads like this.
I am so sorry to hear about this. RM900 is a lot of money not just for an 18 year old but even for me.
I am so sorry to hear about your loss but don't be discouraged. We all make mistakes and pay 'tuition fees' for it. In business I have lost money because of mistakes I have made once but never again after having paid such a hefty tuition fee.
I feel like I should share this with my readers so that nobody else falls victim to this scam (although I think once they're exposed, they're just going to start another site and do it all over again). Do I have your permission to publish your e-mail on my blog?
A lesson we could all take away from this is... if it's too good to be true.. it probably is.
To my dear readers, do be careful over things like this.
We all learn from our mistakes.. but sometimes if we're lucky and if others like Sharon here are willing to share her experience, we could all learn from the mistake someone else has made without having to pay the 'tuition fees'.
Thank you for sharing this Sharon.