Singapore—One netizen found himself scammed when he tried to get a discount on a phone he was buying online. Luckily, the police helped him get back the S$200 that he would have otherwise lost to the scammer.
Paul Teo wrote a Facebook post on June 12 that began with the admission, “I was CHEATED because of my greed!” But he quickly added, “Luckily, I didnt got (sic) myself further into this phone scam.” He posted his story, which has in turn been shared over 1,400 times, in order to prevent others from being scammed in the same way.
Mr Teo went on to write that he had wanted to buy a new phone. The seller had tried to give him “a huge discount,” and asked him to send a private message. At that point, he did not think it would be a scam.
He had been looking at the phone on Shopee, but he did not go through the site for protection, falling for the “discounted” price and messaging the seller via WhatsApp.
⛔I was CHEATED because of my greed!Luckily, I didnt got myself further into this phone scam. When the seller try to…
Mr Teo added that the seller had been very convincing, and listed the reasons why.
“Thruout the conversation,
💚He build rapport with me (saying he is also a family man)
💚Created temptation by say I can have the phone by today (Seduce)
💚No other place will offer such low price (Greed)”
After building rapport with Mr Teo, the seller asked for a deposit in the amount of S$200.
And when Mr Teo suggested “cash and carry” for the deposit, the seller told him it was company policy to collect payment first, and that their price would not be matched by any other seller.
The two messaged via WhatsApp for almost 3 hours “Over a phone purchase!!!” Mr Teo wrote. The length of their conversation somehow proved to the buyer that the seller was legitimate.
“Then I tot, oh well, nobody will be so free to talk to me for 3 hours just to scam $200 right?”
As further proof, “He even send me a snapshot of his NRIC. 😶”
And so, Mr Teo deposited the S$200 deposit and waited for the delivery of the phone. But to his surprise, the seller asked for more money, since Mr Teo needed “to pay an additional refundable ‘Covid protection deposit’ of $300.”
Mr Teo’s response was “Eh???? 🤨🤨🤨🤨🤨”
And then he quickly realized the seller was attempting to con him. After having put down S$200, he would likely not risk losing his deposit.
“SCAM ALERT ⛔⛔⛔,” Mr Teo wrote.
But when he asked for his money to be returned, the seller said no.
“He keep assuring me its a good buy (Alert) ⛔
Very vague reason why the phone is sold so cheap (Alert)⛔
He even send me a video of “him” carrying his NRIC. 🤔”
All these endeavors to prove that he was a legitimate seller were just more red flags to Mr Teo.
“I was very dissapointed because When someone TRIES too hard to prove he is geninue, I guess he prob is NOT.
I told him I will report to the police if he doesnt (sic) refund within the next 20mins.”
And when the seller refused to reply, Mr Teo filed a police report.
He wrote, “Fortuntely, our beloved Police force worked very effectively, and managed to retrive (sic) my loss back. 😀🤗🤗🤗🤗
Appreciate yr time and attention despite so busy (sic) with our current season now.”
Mr Teo then ended his post enumerating the lessons he had learned and he hoped that by writing it, others would be helped by his story.
“Moral of my story:
Always be careful of product or service that are too “cheap” to be true.
I have learnt my lesson.
I hope this sharing can help some1 (sic) out there in any way or another.
Stay home, stay safe. Dont (sic) anyhow Shop.”