Internet scammers have been using Facebook to cheat their potential victims. In the earlier days, they might deceive your personal identity information by asking you to help receive a text message or buy some game points. Now, as online shopping communities flourish, Facebook has become an even more favorite platform for scammers. According to the 165 hotline, 30 fraud cases occurred on online shopping communities in January 2013. Thus, those who love online shopping are urged to watch out for the possible scams.
A college girl student surnamed Lee, living in Tainan, remitted NT$361,000 to an online “Consignment Society” through Facebook to buy 19 self-timer cameras at NT$19,000 per unit but could no longer get in touch with the seller and did not receive the goods, either. Coincidentally, another college girl student surnamed Lin, living in Hsinchu, was also cheated of NT$ 272,000 in an online purchase of the same model of cameras.
Facebook does not provide perfect shopping security norms and nor does it guarantee shopping security on the platform, either. Earlier this month, a consumer who bought a second-hand mobile phone from an online “Bargain Society” but failed to get the goods made a complaint to the manager of “Bargain Society”. The manager simply shirked responsibility by answering, “We cannot intervene in the transaction process, including shipping, payments, refunds, defects, guarantees and others." The victim was left alone and could never solve his own transaction dispute as the seller had already escaped without a trace. Therefore, before doing online shopping, you must confirm the seller’s address and contact telephone and ask some questions to the webmaster to check if he or she is responsible or evasive. Anyway, you must be vigilant enough if you really want to go shopping online.
It is quite troublesome to claim compensation or return of goods on a third-party platform that does not ensure transaction security. The seller can simply block out the transaction or close his or her website and the victim can never find him or her. The Criminal Police Department thus advises our citizens to do online shopping only on those well-accredited platforms which offer sufficient protection on consumer interests or which have physical stores. When buying valuables, it is always advisable that you go directly to the physical store to inspect the goods or have someone accompany you to meet the seller and check the goods if there is no physical store. If you have any question about the Facebook scams, please call 165 anti-fraud hotline.