Share: file a police report for an online fraud?

Recently, I had an unpleasant experience purchasing from a local online store specializing in snail cream. What happened was that I’ve placed an order after seeing their advertisement on Facebook almost a month ago and till today, have yet to receive my item. Well, they did send me something but it was a miserable piece of mask that costs a couple of dollars and not my actual order. And no one in the company bothered to reply me when I queried them about it various times. It was only when I threatened to file a police report that I received a tardy, half-hearted response and even then, they did not take any action. I had to threaten them the second time before they committed on email to send me my item. But I still haven’t receive the item and I’m prepared to file a report if nothing comes by this week.

Filing a police report is a hassle
The item I ordered was a soap that costs S$24, which isn’t a lot of money and I could have just let it passed. However, I was very annoyed about their poor customer service and the fact that they’re advertising heavily on Facebook. I was even more annoyed at their appalling level of customer service for an online store. I am serious about filing a police report if I do not receive anything from them, even though I assume it is a troublesome process. But I’ve found out that we can file police reports online and that’s what I’ve planned to do. However, knowing how the police works, there would be a string of paperwork to file and some interviews to be conducted and it would be a hassle for a S$24 item really.

PayPal makes refund a breeze
This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered such a problem. The first involved an item worth nearly S$200 and the company didn’t ship but insisted they did. Good thing was that I had paid via PayPal and it was a breeze making a claim. So lesson learnt: only order items online if they accept payment via PayPal!

Your say
So question to you today is, have you filed a police report for any online frauds? Or if you were in my shoes, would you file a police report despite knowing the hassle you will encourter?


  1. Miss Vinny says:

    Is it that Snail Street store? Been seeing their ads all over the place too.

    I think you should go ahead and file the police report ‘cos if no one does anything about their behaviour, they might be encouraged to run away with larger sums of consumers’ money.

  2. Audris says:

    Yes, should file a claim. About 10 years ago or more, we had a case of a seller on Yahoo auctions collecting $ but not sending out the items. There was sufficient buyers for us to group together to go file a police report. We also provided the seller’s bank a/c number. But that was online sales at its infancy and a private seller, so the police did issue a warning and facilitated some voluntary payback from the seller.

  3. Joyce September says:

    I think you should go ahead with that police report. It’s a matter of principles. Judging from how they conducted their business with a lack interest in customer service, you should make the report to prove that your “threat” is not just “say-say.” Besides, why the hell did they send you a piece of mask instead of your order?

  4. Poovan says:

    As an online biz owner myself, it saddens me to see these type of incidents. May I propose some pre-cautionary steps before placing your next order :-

    1) Ensure it’s a registered business ie registration no should be displayed
    2) Lots of contact options ie emails, phone no or even address
    3) Multiple payment options. ie Paypal
    4) Read testimonials or check for word of mouth

    Facebook is a good medium for business as it’s free and the reach is wide, but because of few irresponsible sellers other brands has to suffer. Keeping the online business environment saved is a our shared responsibility.
    Thanks Sesame for this post.


  5. Stephanie/Yukaeshi says:

    So sorry to hear about your experience ? I would file a police report against them if they are still so lackadaisical in their attitude. After all, it IS fraud if I’ve paid up and I still have yet to receive the item(s) I’ve paid for, despite countless reminders and/or warnings.

    I believe it’s not a matter of how much the item is worth (To some people, maybe even a $10 item is worth a lot to them in terms of other values) but also principle. You’re a business, and as one you are automatically obligated to provide products/services to your customers, and if you fail on either aspect you’re as good as a conperson, so action should and can be taken.

    All the best if you’re really filing a report against them, and I hope that you’ll at least get your item soon! ?

  6. fwy says:

    I don’t make purchases online but you can file an online complaint using CASE website or online police report using SPF website in Singapore.

  7. aibicon says:

    I think even if you report it, they wont handle your case.I made one before and they totally ignore me=(

  8. BT says:

    That’s totally horrible. I seldom purchase online and only recently I made few orders that cost more than $1000 from Korea but of course, I know my sellers though not to deep extent. One seller missed one lip essence ($20) and few FOC masks ($<20) from my order but she included a free gift of the company that worth $100, so at least I felt better of the mistake. The thing is, probably my bulk order is already entitled to the $100 free gift, so what about the lip essence and FOC mask that I suppose to receive? I asked her these questions politely and never got reply, I don't even bother to waste my time to contact her anymore, of course I would never ever buy any from her again. Luckily I have another "backup" seller.

    How could they give you mask when you actually order soap?? Totally unacceptable for me, they should inform you and offer refund/exchange. Luckily you are a popular blogger so you can blog this and let others in SG beware of this company. Registered company doesn't mean much to me, it's just a registered number and they can always closed the company and open a brand new one with a new registered number. I even doubt the company is registered under the owner name if they intend to do fraud. I read an article before, a Chinese man created a non-existence skin care product and make all hypes on internet, with only 2 months one-man work, he got a registered number from Japan so he can claim his product made in Japan, an amazing software edited before-after pic on poster and cleverly market the product online, yet he received millions dollar franchise order online. Fortunately he finally give up his evil plan because he still got "heart".

    Sorry my comment is agitated but really can't help.

  9. MereMakeupManiac says:

    i think you should because you could save others from getting victimized as well. for us, it’s not a lot of money but imagine other customers who some may be saving up money just to get items then get cheated on it, so sad. it will also serve as a lesson to fraudaulent online sellers not to take advantage of online shoppers. it’s the right thing to do, even though as you say it could entail a lot of work on your end. but i believe you’ll be rewarded for it, one way or another so just go for it! (#k8SjZc9Dxk_#k8SjZc9Dxk) do update us once what happens next!

  10. Natalia says:

    I am not sure if Police will do anything. But if you paid with credit card, call your bank or credit card issuer and report that transaction as fraudulent and unauthorized. They should get your money back.
    A few years ago, I don’t know how, but someone obtained my CC number and went Christmas shopping for over $3,000 worth of electronic equipment. I called the bank and they got me all my money back.

  11. EcoBeauty says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your experience. Thankfully, it’s a “singapore-based” company so filing police reports might not be as troublesome as compared to if it were a overseas-based online shop.

    I once encountered this seller while vacationing abroad who forgot to include a lip balm in my first order. I asked if she could have it delivered together with my new purchase but got no reply even after 2 emails, I was panicking ’cause I was about to go back to SG (lol, who makes online purchases while on a short vacation, anyway?) When she finally replied to me after 4 days–I was already on a plane and had to ask my friend to receive the items and ship them to Singapore. The seller apologized and said that she’ll throw in TONS (yes, it was capitalized in her email) of freebies to make up for all the hassle. I’ve never been crazy about freebies although I appreciate them. Really the sort who just appreciates good service, I don’t even feel comfortable getting discounts from my regular hair stylist. But the thought of getting TONS of freebies and finally receiving my forgotten item together with my 2nd batch of purchase got me a tad too hopeful. When I finally received my package, I got the items I paid for, the forgotten lip balm plus 1 or 2 paper thin soap samples.

  12. sesame says:

    Oh that’s dishonest! Good that you had a community going against that seller. But looks like the police did nothing.

  13. sesame says:

    Yeah, I would if I did not receive but I finally got the item today…but it’s like after 2 threatening emails and almost a month for a local order? Very unreliable though.

  14. sesame says:

    That’s good advice! I’ve never checked about company registration. Never thought it’s important until now. I shall also look out for the payment method.

  15. Paris B says:

    Gosh thats terrible. I think its not so much about the money/cost but the principle. If you have the details and wouldn’t mind having to have your statement taken etc, I think its worth making a report. I know if it happened here, I wouldn’t bother because it would just be too much hassle ? BTW I have to agree with you re: Paypal. I never shop online unless they take Paypal.

  16. sesame says:

    Yes, you’re right. It’s not about how much the item is. I was pissed cos I see them advertising heavily and I don’t like the way they’re treating their customers. If they want business, then they better buck up.

  17. sesame says:

    I found the online link for reporting to the police. Will look out for the CASE website. Thanks for reminding.

  18. sesame says:

    Oh the seller is not ethical and professional…and she ignored your email? It’s such an experience that turns us off online purchases. Personally, I prefer to purchase via reputable companies but sometimes, I’ll be tempted enough to try some alternative means.

    I got the sense that they were pushing their luck with me to see if I’ll just ignore and accept the discrepancy. The apology was very tardy and no mention of compensation for the trouble and inconvenience rendered. I did receive the item finally this afternoon but still, it was not a pleasant experience.

  19. sesame says:

    That was what I was thinking…that it seems like they’re advertising heavily and not rendering good customer service. I did get the item finally this afternoon but they’re still highly unreliable.

  20. sesame says:

    You’re right about the police cos based on Audris’ comment, it seems they will just issue warnings. I did consider going to my bank but I was caught up and missed the 7 days deadline for the dispute.

    Oh, that’s terrible! $3000 is a lot! But glad you got your money back. It happened to me once. I lost my card while traveling and the charges came up to nearly $2k. The bank actually tried to make me absorbed the charges, hoping I was a fool but I got them to waive the charges off eventually. Not a nice experience.

  21. sesame says:

    They ignored you? Hmm…small case to them so they don’t bother?

  22. sesame says:

    I was seriously going to do that but I finally got my order this afternoon. But to be honest, I was thinking it would be such a hassle and I wished that I wouldn’t have to do it. Yes, that’s the one with ads all over FB.

  23. sesame says:

    Haha…paper thin soap samples are TONS? What a crap! But at least you got an apology and something. This company didn’t bother to reply my various emails at first. It was only after my 1st threat of police report did they came back to say they will check and reply in 2 days. They repiled maybe 4 or 5 days later, and only after I issued a 2nd threat in which I stated I will not only file a police report but make sure I get bloggers to blog about it. LOL. I think it was the blogging part that got them to pull their act together.

  24. sesame says:

    Yes, PayPal only in future! It was a small amount but still, nobody likes being cheated. I thought of filing only cos there is an online option. I’m not sure I want to go down to the police station to do it if there isn’t such an option. But like what some of the others are saying, the police may not do much especially if it’s a small case.

  25. nami says:

    scary..i am a product junkie and always buy skin care stuff online because not many skin care brands available in india and the one’s that are available are loaded with time i have to be cautious and you must file a report its more about trust than money and also we cant let our hard earned money to go waste like dis no matter how wealthy we are…all the best

  26. nami says:

    and sorry for my bad not very good at it

  27. Ct says:

    Sorry to hear that. You should file a police report. It’s not all about the money but doing society a good deed. They will continue doing this and many more victims to go. Imagine each victim is $24, 1000 victims they will have $24,000 just by refusing to post out the product. It’s easy money for them

  28. sesame says:

    Well, I hope it’s just me that this has happened and it’s not across the board. Anyway, the item eventually arrived this afternoon so there is also no case against them now.

  29. sesame says:

    Well, buying online has it’s perils and so it’s best to buy using PayPal as getting a refund is way easier.

  30. Reena says:

    paypal is one of the most reliable services that you can use. I haate online stores that do that. Wow… that’s def bad customer service and if they keep on doing that, business will def be a no-go for them.

  31. sesame says:

    Yes, they’ll do themselves in for the long run. Maybe they’re just in for some quick bucks.

  32. Nat says:

    7 days only? Are they even serious? That would only apply to someone who checks their ballance and transactions daily. Not many of us do. Wow, so unfair. It looks like Singapore’s banks are not so big on customer service. But I am glad everything worked out.

  33. sesame says:

    It depends on the card. I think some extends to 14 days. Nope, our banks are not that great on customer service. It’s only lip service most of the time.

  34. xin says:

    oh i didn’t know paypal do refunds! i have never encountered any fraud (hopefully never will) but knowing myself, i probably will not file a police report due to the hassles =/

  35. Amanda says:

    That would quite depend on how annoyed I’m. If I’m quite piqued, I would go a long way to do what I think is proper (no matter what others have to say). I only have few online purchase experiences, and most of the time I only paid by paypal. Good for me. But lucky that you are purchasing from a local store, or else I think it would be even harder to make a claim!

  36. sesame says:

    Yeah…I wouldn’t know how to go about it if I paid by credit card and it’s a foreign entity. Report fraud with the credit card company perhaps?

  37. Vonvon says:

    That’s the main reason why I don’t like to purchase online. Even big companies. It’s not that I don’t trust big companies. But you never know who will get access to you details and CC number, etc. I would rather go to the shops, though it’s not that easy here sometimes, living in the country.

  38. sesame says:

    Yeah, you’re right about that. I don’t shop that much online but somethings are just not available in our retail stores.

  39. Pollya says:

    Thanks for blogging about this, Sesame — we can always learn so much from other people’s experiences.
    You know, it wouldn’t even have occurred to me to file a police report. I would have just considered myself “unlucky” and be resigned to losing the $24. Also, I always wondered, what if the company/seller says they posted out the item but since it never arrived, it means it must have “gotten lost in the mail”? If the buyer doesn’t opt for registered mail, there is really no way to track, so does the buyer have any stand if the seller claims that?
    I’ve made quite a lot of online purchases so far and thankfully, no bad experience in the sense of products not arriving etc. But you know what? I’ve had my Paypal account hacked into before!!! So Paypal is not foolproof either!! It was really scary when I received that “confirmation” email from Paypal saying I had bought something when I never did!! (and was UK currency to top it all!) I eventually managed to get a ‘refund’ from Paypal (but shortchanged due to currency conversion, hmmph!!!) so can say things ended well but it was really a frightening experience! So now I change my Paypal password VERY regularly (was almost every other day immediately after that incident, and now definitely after EACH Paypal transaction) cos don’t want to take any risk of something similar happening again!!
    It’s one of those things you think will never happen to you, but once it happens, it’s really once bitten twice shy, and all precautionary measures are worth it no matter how troublesome or time-consuming!!

  40. sesame says:

    Yeah, with online stuff, nothing is foolproof so it’s good that you’re careful. It’s also good to ensure you have a proper virus scan program so that your online accounts don’t get hacked so easily. And about the mailing of items, yes, it’s true that we bear a risk if the item is not sent out by registered. But the thing in this case was that the company offer free shipping so there was no option for me to choose. In this case, the responsibility is clearly theirs. If it’s lost, well, they should send again.

  41. Nuraisya says:

    hai,im nura.. i feel fed up wif her n sms alot time she kip on quite nvr msg me all d time i hv been waiting for 3mth already so long ago seh even i alrdy deposit her acct den she got msg got it..den i ask her wen i get my things get ready… so she say jus wait d arrive get ready things will relpy me asap unitl none of answing msg me haiz wat d hell..wast my money done..i regret ?

  42. Deng says:

    i got scammed as well by an online seller at carousel, i paid thru Paypal more than S$200, its been 4 days and i haven’t heard from her ever since she received a payment and after constant messages i sent to her, i know her full name and what she looks like, which she don’t know that I know, is it possible that i can also get refund from Paypal, i work so hard for that money, may I ask how did you do it.

Leave a Reply