The Scums Who Scam The Middle Class Online

The Scums Who Scam The Middle Class Online

Ma. Luisa "Louie" P. Sebastianhttp://contributor
Ma. Luisa “Louie” Sebastian is Senior Adviser for Strategic Communications of Page One Group News/Media. She loves to write, dance, and watch movies. She is currently Vice President-Internal of the Public Relations Society of the Philippines.

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Times are hard. Many have lost jobs since the lockdown in March but they struggle to earn from a decent living. With most professionals working from home, the online delivery business has rocketed. Along its upsurge are scums exploiting the industry.

Scamming the buyer

I was a recent victim to this scam. I was on a bank errand when a package was delivered to our house from Pampanga. My eldest paid P700 for the delivery. When I came home, I was surprised because I did not order anything online last week. I looked at the airway bill from J&T Express and my name was misspelled, and the mobile phone number was wrong. The number of my house was wrong but there were some details in the address that looked like it was the pin location in either Grab or Lalamove.

I immediately called the sender’s phone number. She said that I ordered it on Facebook. This was not possible because my name on FB is different. But I still told her to send the order payment form in my FB account. I texted her several times and tried to call again but she did not pick up anymore.

When I opened the package, it was a pancake molder that only costs P99 in either Lazada or Shopee.

Lesson learned: Do not just accept deliveries. If you are expecting a package, inform all the household members.

Vanny also had a similar experience. She ordered Honey Citron Ginger Tea from Lazada. It turned out that the supplier was a former colleague, so they even texted each other after she received the package. But after three days, the same package was delivered to her house.

She refused to accept the delivery, but the rider said that she might have ordered twice. She immediately called her supplier-friend who confirmed that she only ordered once. She also showed her Lazada account to the rider which confirmed delivery of her order. She was spared from paying another P1000 for a product that she already has.

Lesson learned: Keep track of all your orders in Lazada or Shopee or other reputable online shopping platforms. Prepare exact payment so that when the orders arrive, household members will just pay it.

Scamming the seller

Christy received a laptop from her aunt abroad, but she just purchased a new one for online learning, so she sold one of the laptops online for P12,000. She found a buyer in Quezon City, a former dean of a university. They had a long thread of FB chat where she posted a photo of the laptop which even had the actual store receipt to show that it was brand new. Christy agreed to be paid 50 percent before delivery and the balance to be settled after the buyer receives the laptop. They trusted each other because Christy also saw the buyer’s profile in the university’s website where she works.

Christy sent the package thru a courier company. She was surprised when she got a call from the buyer that it was not the laptop brand that she showed in their FB chat and the unit even had a crack on the screen. It was a good thing that the buyer opened the package in front of the rider. She took photos of the both the rider and the broken laptop. The rider apparently told her to declare the laptop as broken so she could claim for insurance. She immediately called Christy about the incident and sent her the photos of the laptop she received.

All hell broke loose when Christy called the courier company. She demanded why the laptop was replaced with a broken one. What made her more frustrated was how her complaint was handled because she felt like it was an incident that they are already familiar with, so the call center agent just kept on repeating to claim for insurance. But Christy was aghast that the laptop was replaced with another brand and worse, it was broken. It was obviously a scam. Her case was featured in a popular TV program.

Lesson learned: Take photos of the item you will send via a courier before and after it is packaged. Advice your buyer to take photos too in front of the rider when they receive the package.

They say that the best lessons are learned the hard way. The only way to protect ourselves from these scums is to be alert at all times.

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