Hello readers! I hope your 2014 has started on a good note because mine has started on a fantastic note! Wanna know why? Read on! Now as ashamed as I am o admit this, I was almost scammed out of 1700 bucks. Yeah, that's a lot of money, but before you go all "how could you have been so stupid?!" on me, just remember that even the smartest people in the world have been tricked before. Being scammed once doesn't mean that you were stupid enough to fall for the scam but being scammed twice means shame on you, because the first time should've been a lesson.
Now, let me get on with my story. Firstly this all happened in the month of December after my brother had left overseas. I was all alone at home and had started my first job at a secret company which will not be mentioned for safety purposes. So, two weeks into my job and I had already received my very own salary (which was more than I have ever received in my life) and I thought to myself, "Hey, why not buy something useful with this money! Like a new phone since that bullshit HTC phone has started to fail you." OMG, the pain and struggle that has accompanied me from using that piece of shit called a phone! I cannot even begin to explain the many times I've smacked it, beat it and even let it die, all from the frustration it has caused me. And now because of this ONE DAMN PHONE I hate all HTC phones. I'll NEVER buy an HTC phone in my life. F*cking piece of shit!
So back to the story, I decided to do just that- replace my POS phone with another much better phone. Now I've always been a fan of Android simply because its easier to customize. I've used Apple before and though it's performance is indisputable but its really boring interface just stymies me every time. So in the end, it was the battle between the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the iPhone 5s. I decided to go with the 5s because I figured, now that I'm a career woman, why not, eh? So instead of being smart and going straight to the Apple/Mac store and buying if from there, I decided to surf the web in hopes of finding a more affordable ORIGINAL iPhone5s (*Gasp* I can never settle for an imitation!). So I did find one on this website called Locanto.com.my and seriously, the fact that the ad was too good to be true should've been the warning sign for me but my common sense was clouded by desire so of course, that didn't register one bit.
There was a number provided too, so I called the number and talked to the seller named "Jack"(I really don't know his real name, that was the name he gave me) and we came to an agreement. So then, I banked in the full amount which was 1700 bucks and waited for him to make the delivery. [Side Note: I have never ordered anything online for fear that something like this might happen to me. So that was also the day when I decided to make my very first online purchase] The asshole promised to make the delivery out on Friday which meant I should receive the package on Saturday or Monday as that's the latest. He gave me a tracking number (which then turned out to be fake) and I went to the post office to check it out.... only to find that it wasn't registered at all.
Monday approached and still no sign of my delivery. I called him frantically and wasted my credit on him. Still no reply. That's when it hit me that I had been scammed. Motherf*cker! I immediately felt stupid and ashamed because all the signs were there but my impatience seemed to cloud them. So instead of wallowing in my own sorrow, I decided to take swift action. I filed a police report and they advised me to go to the Consumer Claims council that deals with these kinds of cases and it was there that I had to fill in a form and then send a copy of that court order/summon form to the scammer's address. The problem was, I didn't have his address but I had the name of his Company. So I went to the Companies Commission and they gave me the address of the company. So I mailed the court order/summons and waited for the reply. Suddenly a few days after mailing the court order, I receive a call from an alein number and the caller sounded very frantic/
Turns out "Jack" was a labor worker in that company and he had scammed a lot of people. Luckily for me and those others, the money was deposited into the company bank account and so it was still there. So we made a deal that I would cancel the summons if he returned my money. Which brings us to today, when I check my bank account and the full amount was there. Now guys, let me simplify the entire process for you in the form of bullet points. Here's what to do if you have been scammed:
- File a police report
- Go to the Consumer Claims department in your country/area and file a complaint with them. They should give you two copies of a summons/court order document.
- Head on over to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (those living in the states), Companies Commissions in any country or any department that deals with company registration and then search for the company. You will have the address, registration number and etc.
- Then, go back to the Consumer Claims department and then get your court date.
- After that mail one copy to the scammer's address (which you would've gotten from the previous step) and then wait.
- On the day of your hearing, if the scammer doesn't show up, you automatically win and the government will refund whatever amount you were scammed off. If he does show up (in most cases they don't), you are still likely to win because you have stronger evidence
Just remember to keep all bank transaction slips, text messages and any evidence that can be used against the perpetrator. Honestly I am one of the rare cases whereby I do get my stolen money back and I'm thankful for that. God is indeed great. And remember don't feel stupid if this happens to you because even geniuses get scammed. I hope this is helpful to you guys or anyone going through this. Share, because this could help someone.