Purchase only from reputable online retailers

Anonymous | 01 Oct 2021

Online Purchase Scam

I needed to buy a laptop for my son as his uni course has commenced. I came across an ad on Facebook about gaming laptop. When I tapped on the ad, it opened up a WhatsApp chat. The person directed me to his company's webpage at http://gaminglaptopsg.com to view the catalogue. The company is supposedly located in sim lim square and has an active ACRA profile. Everything looked legitimate to me and I decided to place an order on 10/9/21. I was sent an invoice through email with payment details for internet banking transfer of $1,500 to a DBS account. The following day, I enquired about the delivery date and somebody from their "logistic dept" called me from a sg number and told me that I was required to pay a $300 refundable fee to get a permit to release the goods from Changi cargo zone, or cancel the order and get a full refund. I immediately opted for a refund and asked for a proof of fund transfer back to me. They actually sent me a screenshot of a fund reversal transaction from POSB internet banking. 3 weeks on, I never receive the refund and my bank confirmed that there wasn't any such transaction. Throughout the past 3 weeks, they still responded to my WhatsApp and email like they are a real company with real customer service. Their WhatsApp and webpage are still online. Meanwhile, I have lodged a police report and alerted DBS.

Editor's note: Please purchase from reputable online retailers that offer a comprehensive buyers' protection schemes or provide escrow payment services where payments are released after users acknowledged receipt of the items. 

Please also ensure that you are at the organisation's official website. Do a google search as the scammers are known to spoof legitimate websites to fool victims. 

Where possible, avoid paying for products via direct bank transfers.