MCA Public Services and Complaints Department chief Datuk Seri Michael Chong has called on the public to exercise caution when making purchases online.
Online purchases that never materialised:
- Woman lost RM2,800 on Jacky Cheung concert tickets
- Salesman lost RM2,350 on iPhone 6S Plus
Chong revealed that his department received more than 10 cases last year where customers were fleeced by conmen.
“The victims lost a total of RM245,000. I have been told by the Commercial Crime Investigation Department that the number of such cases is much higher.
“Most of the time, buyers were duped through social media. They make payments but products were never delivered.
“A number of our cases last year involved the purchase of mobile phones and concert tickets,” he said.
The latest victim was a 26-year-old consultant, known as Lim, who tried to buy tickets for a Jacky Cheung concert.
“On Dec 15, my sister told me about a message she received via Facebook from a guy named Adam claiming to sell tickets.
“She passed me his phone number and I contacted him via Whatsapp. Initially, he said the tickets were RM550 each but he would sell me four tickets for only RM500 each,” she said at a press conference at the MCA Public Services and Complaints Department in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.
She said she banked in a total of RM2,000 to the seller before he told her that one of the four tickets had been sold.
“He offered me better tickets which cost RM988 for only RM700 each instead, and I agreed and transferred the extra money to him.
“He promised to mail the tickets to me but I could not contact him at all after that.
“I lost RM2,800 to this conman,” lim said.
She added that she lodged a report at the Brickfields police station on Dec 20.
Also present at the press conference was event organiser Star Planet marketing communication executive Yee Suit Yee who too advised the public to avoid purchasing from unconfirmed sources.
In another case, a salesman got cheated over the purchase of an iPhone.
The 42-year-old salesman, who only wanted to be known as Ng, said he tried to buy an iPhone 6S Plus from a seller on Facebook during Christmas last year.
“The seller wanted RM1,700 for the phone and I transferred the money. Then the seller told me to pay another RM650 for insurance on the package, which I obliged,” NG said.
When the phone was not delivered, Ng contacted the seller on Jan 3.
This time, the seller asked for RM1,000, saying that the phone had been withheld by the Customs Department.
“I refused to pay and insisted on a tracking number for the parcel but the number provided turned out to be invalid.
“The seller then blocked me on Facebook and WhatsApp. He has been uncontactable since,” said Ng, who lost RM2,350.