I believe I am to blame for being naive... or it is tacky?
When something is just too good to be true, it probably is. I have learnt my lesson well... fortunately before the damage is done.
Being the Techno-geek that I am, the rage in Singapore... and the world over I believe is to own an Apple iPhone, even before it officially reaches the shores here.
Being a faithful character that I am, I have not looked at another cellphone the way I used to since I met iPhone. No communication tool is good enough for me anymore except iPhone.
So, like many here, I depend on HardwareZone marketplace, a local equivalent of eBay to purchase mine from parallel importers... but apparently with its own sets of risks if ignorant... well, stupid individuals like me is willing to respond to the too-good-to-be-true offer in the first place.
I do not blame the website for it because it also prominently displays an alert of rogue sellers claiming it as the guarantor for the transactions. It also reminds potential buyers to stick to its policy of using PayPal in its secure site than off-line Western Union or MoneyGram.
Curiosity killed the cat... well, this old tomcat did not die, but shaken. Taken for a ride when the seller from UK responded my email request to buy it a lower than the average offering price of S$900.00.
Simple ruse. Yet I fell for it... and almost to the bottom of the pit.
He replied on how the transaction was suppose to be carried out once eBay sends the invoice after I provided him with the "ship to" address.
"eBay" sent me a blank email but with email@example.com address. The seller purportedly claimed eBay had informed him of problems with my email service provider. He asked me to give my Yahoo! or Gmail address instead, which I did.
Minutes later, the spoof email... very well, meticulously and accurately done email I might add, arrived into my Yahoo! Inbox.
The terms to pay by Western Union and not to mention eBay as the transaction agent was just too stark an evidence to be a fake email from eBay.
It triggered me to inquired eBay through Live Help. After forwarding the email to both eBay US and UK, both returned my email and confirmed that the transaction email I got was indeed a spoof. They have taken down the sellers ID and are investigating into the matter. Phew!
Why was I so tacky to try it out anyway?
The strong-turned-stupid desire to own a 16GB iPhone was just too much. It made me take the first step anyway against my logical sense AND my gut instinct telling me otherwise!
I would be S$500.00 poorer and very frustrated if not for eBay's Roy G. who was competently very helpful.
I was like a bug going into the blue ultra-violet light to be zapped... the irresistible light.
A sucker is born everyday... minutes maybe with such convincing phishing emails and fake websites. I repent.
Back to the right path. Mental note...
- Always use legitimate website with its HTTPS domain for online transactions. Got it.
- No giving out personal details over emails. Got it.