Beware of online buyers who attempt to cheat you

Anonymous | 11 Oct 2021

Online Purchase Scam
Buyer contacted me via Carousell on 6 Oct expressing interest in 2 small items priced at S$10. He provided me with an email address to contact him to arrange meetup or post, but his account was suspended within the next few minutes. This screams red flag but I still emailed him as I thought there could be valid reasons why his account was suspended, besides the items were not expensive. I even wrote to Carousell enquiring about user's account but they were unable to disclose any info due to their privacy policy and even cautioned me not to proceed with any ongoing transactions with him. Anyway buyer goes by the name of Anthony who was very polite and prompt in all his replies, even though he is based in USA and wants to send the items to someone in Malaysia (another red flag). He sent me recipient's mailing address and contact number and wanted to know cost of items and shipping fees, agreeing to pay either through PayPal or bank transfer. All this while, I was thinking as long as I don't receive payment, I will not ship items out so there's nothing to lose.

After informing him that he has to pay me S$17 for the items plus overseas shipping, he decided to purchase more items amounting to over S$100 without a single enquiry (yet another red flag). Total cost of additional items incl registered international mail amounted to S$130.60 and he proceeded to pay via bank transfer without hesitation. I received a transfer confirmation email almost immediately (see attached screenshots) from "Citibank". Upon looking at the email content, I knew straightaway it was a scam. There are just too many stories and cases that highlight buyers as victims but sellers are at risk too, esp now that the scams are getting to be more sophisticated.

Rule #1: Keep your transactions within the official platform, ignore any requests to divert conversations off platform.
Rule #2: Do not ship out your items until you are properly paid, no such thing as the bank holding your money.