Online shopping

CIB warns of growing number of online shopping buyer scams

Taipei, Jan. 23 (CNA) The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) issued a warning to the public on Sunday after identifying a growing number of online shopping scams involving buyers rather than sellers, as was previously the norm .

In a press release, the CIB said that in the past, scammers have often used the anonymous nature of the internet to scam unsuspecting buyers.

In 2021, a total of 5,667 online shopping scams were reported to the police, with victims defrauded of around NT$300 million (US$10.82 million).

In recent months, however, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of online sellers being scammed by individuals posing as buyers, according to CIB.

For example, an online seller named Wang (王) in New Taipei told police that she was contacted online by a self-proclaimed “buyer” who wanted to purchase the products she was selling online but claimed not to. unable to do so due to technical problems. problems.

The scammer then asked Wu to scan a QR code to facilitate the payment in question. After Wang clicked on the QR code, he was asked to provide personal information, including his cell phone number and credit card number.

Instead of receiving payment from the self-proclaimed buyer, Wang said she later discovered that the scammer had withdrawn NT$23,000 from her bank account, according to CIB.

Another man named Hsiao (蕭) who lives in Taoyuan fell victim to a similar scam when he was scammed out of NT$76,240 by a scammer who allegedly wanted to buy products he was selling online, said he added.

The CIB has warned the public to be vigilant against such fraud and not to scan QR codes sent by people they do not know.

Anyone encountering such a suspicious situation should call 165 to contact the Anti-Fraud and Internet Scam Helpline, the CIB added.