Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Don't get cheated online

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 Louis Vuitton and Gucci 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: shop@designerluxurybrands.com.

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 shop@designerluxurybrands.com."



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
Telegraphic Transfer.

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 shop@designerluxurybrands.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
designerluxurybrands@live.com 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

Dear 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.

Best Regards,
Timothy Tiah

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.

37 comments:

Chu King said...

I have seen the ads in Dawn's blog but I didn't bother to click on it. Usually I don't have the habit to buy expensive stuff online. I buy them when I walk in the shop.

To sharon, Rm900 to buy a lesson. Forget about it and make sure you don't make the same mistake.

kyliemc said...

poor girl..but it's good though that she's willing to let you post her story in your blog. hope others won't repeat her mistake.

Falcon said...

It must not have been easy for her..

But i don'y understand how could have Dawn Yang had allowed the people to post such an ad

Sharon should make a police report and give them the details of the transaction..but since in singapore then lets all just learn and be more cautious from her experience...

Belinda said...

This is certainly a fraud.

A check on Whois revealed one fishy thing. The phone number seemed to have only the country code (Indonesia).

If you follow this URL,
http://www.aboutus.org/DesignerLuxuryBrands.com
The account has been "Account Temporary Suspended"

Cobalt Paladin said...

With the bank transactions, the Singapore police can definitely track down the account holder. If you can gather a few others who were cheated to make a police report, it will be treated as a fraud case. The perpetrator will surely be arrested if they are still in Singapore.

You can make an online police report to the Singapore Police Force using this url:

http://www.spf.gov.sg/epc/ePCLinks.html

Jyushiang Tay said...

Rm900 to pay for a lesson that you can actually pass down to your kids in the future, and alternatively us bloggers. :)

Thanks for sharing. Lesson learnt! No online purchasing, and no designer goods are good online!

girl-in-wonderland said...

I went through the site and was interested as well, but I had my qualms so I didn't proceed! Thank God I didn't!

It's still a whole lot of money, imagine all the girls being cheated! I think this serves as a lesson to Dawn as well! She has been approving lots of adverts nowadays and being a natural crowd-puller that she is, I think she should start being responsible of the things/sites she endorses!

Xiaxue, no matter how much some people hates her, is a much responsible person in these kind of adverts! I would think she choses and filters her adverts!

I know Dawn's a victim as well in this case, but I kinda feel a little bit "victimised" by the fact that I too almost got cheated of my hard-earned cash because I believed in Dawn's judgments.. tsk tsk..

- m i c h e l l e - said...

Thanks for posting this up. I initially didn't want to reveal my identity because I felt ashamed. But today, with the support I got from many, I am quite alright with it already.

Falcon, Dawn has been really ignorant on certain things and hasn't bothered to reply to our emails when asked about the company details. She must be out having great fun partying. Or so I think.

Again, thanks Boss Stewie! :)

Boss Stewie said...

Hey guys.. I don't think Dawn is to be blamed at all.

I think the ad was bought through the Google Adsense unit on her blog so it automatically went up after it was bought. I don't think she had a chance to approve anything and I doubt she knew whether it was a genuine company or not.

Nor should we even blame Google Adsense because I don't know how they would be able to check every one of their millions of advertisers to see if they are genuine or not. All they are is a medium for advertising. Like if you see a TV ad and buy the product and find out the product is crap, you don't blame the TV station right?

All the blame lies with the fraudster

Anna T said...

Thanks for bringing this up!

J]-[UN said...

Actually I believe dawn wrote a short advertorial on the site a week or 2 back (before her gokarting trip) , but when I looked yesterday the entry is gone.

daily boutique said...

Trying to scam money from SG!?
These ppl must be crazy...
I'm sure there are ways for the local authorities to trace back - since they're using a local bank account.

Se3keR said...

I just happened to read this and really, it is such a sorry situation for the girl. RM900 must be a lot even for working adults. I guess we all should be more careful and do a more thoroughly research before purchasing any products especially through the net. I once bought an ANIME collection from someone on the net for about RM600 but when the collection arrived, I realized that it is imitations only. I was disappointed and angry but nevertheless there was no way I could get my refund. Therefore I given up on it and took it as a lesson. Like you said, "tuition fees" though it is really a hard lesson back then.

Ginny Han said...

i guess this is a lesson everyone must learn eh? never buy things online cuz it involves ur credit card! lol. unless u know the site is a reliable one like ebay.

- m i c h e l l e - said...

Boss stewie, nopey u're wrong for once. Teeheehee. It is posted up by Dawn herself. Apparently, the company approached her and she just had a quick look at the website, and then accepted the offer.

tom said...

hey, boss can u share with us your business experience?

Samantha said...

i was thinking of getting myself an LV bag in my mid.. twenties while i'm finally doing my own travels after earning overseas.

omg i hope dawn isn't gonna be part of a lawsuit if the people behind the scam gets caught. it's gonna be a really big issue once these people get busted. and as far as i thought, i've only heard of fake investment sites but not online shopping con men.

sharon approached the right person to spread the word.

Pwincess Linfoong said...

yes, yes i think i read when dawn wrote herself. i too was thinking of buying it cause i thought that since dawn would write about it, it should be safe, but all the price was too steep for me, haha. sharon/michelle so sorry to hear about your lost.

Lynnette :D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wei-Yee Chan said...

Hilarious! *rotfl*

Sharoning Q. said...

Thanks michelle for sharing this to the public.

There's always fraud case on or off line, we just have to be wary at all times.

RealGunners said...

the world is full of sharks, my dear.. especially if its thru the net..

i still prefer window shopping than online shopping..

Anna T said...

Happy Birthday?!

Happy Birthday Timothy!

Boss Stewie said...

aww thank u anna

Christine said...

Happy Birthday Tim :D
sehat panjang umur and all the best!

aVieo0o said...

Happy Birthday!

www.avrilchan.com

barghers.com said...

happy birthday boss :)

povege said...

Happy Birthday!
A year older and a year more mature. Guys are like wine, the older the better. I envy you :D
Have a nice day!

Lin said...

Happy Birthday! May all your wishes come true. =)

Jeffro said...

I wonder.. Does Timothy reads the emails sent to him regularly? If not, why I sent emails to you, but no reply? *deeply saddened* (T_T)

Lorraine said...

Thank you for sharing this story.Its a lesson to us all.It made more careful buying things online +.+

the cili padi doctor said...

We are all human and mistakes are bound to happen. I guess there is just no such thing as a free lunch.

It's just weird that a sophisticated scamming mechanism was initiated at a famous website and the singaporean authorities, with all their high-tech know-hows and amazing brainiacs working for them, didn't quickly move in and apprehend the perpetrators.

maybe criminals are just getting smarter nowadays just as we are such gullible creatures sometimes.

my deepest admiration for the two ladies who appeared in the public admitting that they were conned as it must have taken a lot from someone to admit that they made a mistake.

i hope you guys will continue to expose more wrongdoings in the future!

Wei-Yee Chan said...

Is an apology all that Dawn Yang can offer?

Simon Seow said...

There's a lot of scam like this out there. We must be very careful not to give away our financial info so easily.

Ah Ling said...

Just my 2 sen(s) worth ; Normally if a site claims to sell new branded bags like Louis Vuitton & Chanel online for much less than what they are going for in the market, then be careful because designer brands like these do not have any 'resellers'. Am awful sorry to hear about this. Hope it doesn't happen to anyone else.

Doreen said...

I do feel sorry for the victims of this fraud and I hope that freak can be tracked down soon. Dawn should do a bit more than just an apology in my opinion and hope she learn from this mistake.

SyaFia said...

what a sad story.. but 18 years old with rm2000 bag? wow.. how rich ur family