In this era, when 54% of sales happen through unauthorized dealers on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp - scams and fraud have increased by 80% and the chances of refund or return are as low as 20%. One can not trust a seller based on the reputation they’ve built online. Even a reputed seller can send some other thing instead of what the buyer ordered.
Making up stories with makeup!
A lady named Shruti Agarwal, a reseller from Gauhati, Assam became a victim of one such online fraud. One fine morning, Shruti came across a Facebook post from Manjot Singh, a cosmetics wholesaler. He claimed to sell original MAC products at wholesale rates. Anybody aware of original products and their prices might have caught him in a second but, Shruti was buying cosmetics for the first time. Excited, she did not even think twice before depositing the amount in the seller’s account. She updated her reselling WhatsApp groups with the same products and got orders from her customers. She ordered more products from Manjot and waited for the delivery.
On-time but not up to the standard
The products were delivered on time but to her surprise, all the products were a copy of the original and were not even in a state to be used by people.
Meanwhile, she started getting complaints from her customers that she sold fake products to them. Shruti messaged Manjot about what happened. She requested her to take the products back and demanded a refund. Manjot denied to refund a single penny and said that he’s new to the business and was unaware of the fact that the products were fake.
Not just lost her money but also her reputation!
Manjot stopped replying to her constant interrogation. Shruti saw a few more posts from people who had been a victim of Manjot’s cosmetic scam. Meanwhile, he blocked Shruti and removed her from all his Whatsapp groups. Shruti not only had to keep the fake products but also lost her reputation as a seller. She took to Facebook to share her experience with all her connections, including all the unboxing videos, detailed chat screenshots, and requested people to not deal with people who do not have a good profile on Facebook or Instagram business account of their store.
But will posting on Facebook ever help anybody reduce the pain of what’s lost?
Moreover, will a seller’s good social reputation ever promise the originality of products?
There is a simple answer to all the above questions and that’s - NO!
In that case, what can one do to be immune against such frauds?
Keeping oneself from shopping on Instagram or Facebook isn't a valid option. We need to find a way out. Apps like Vouch help you keep control over your money and keep you safe from frauds and make easy returns and refunds.
Take a closer look at what you can do to avoid being in such situations -
- Always ask for proof of originality of products.
- Pay the seller through Vouch. In case of fraud, you can claim a refund.
- Always make unboxing videos of the delivered products.
Follow this for all social media seller payments: When in doubt, use Vouch!
This is Fraud Story #7. Check back here for more fraud chronicles and scams that you can protect yourself from.
Safety is not just about protecting your credit or debit card number. It's about having control of your money till you've received the product or service you bought online!
Note: This is a good-faith initiative to educate the world about how to avoid frauds like these. Do you have a fraud that you would like to report? Please write to us at email@example.com