PETALING JAYA - Internet shopping is usually a harmless pastime - but for these victims, browsing on an online retailer's site only brought them headache and worry after they were sent, and billed for, items they did not even order.
National Consumer Complaints Centre legal and policy senior manager Shabana Naseer Ahmad shared experiences suffered by complainants who were sent unsolicited beauty products by LuxStyle International Sales ApS, which trades under the name LuxStyle.
A 59-year-old woman said she visited LuxStyle's website because she wanted mascara for her daughter. (Some names have been excluded for the victims' privacy.)
After registering with her personal information to see the prices, she was shocked at how expensive the products were and decided not to buy.
She was even more shocked when a package was delivered to her and is now unsure what to do with it.
The youngest complainant was a 14-year-old girl, who saw the company's blackhead removal mask promoted on Instagram.
After checking the price, her mother told her not to buy it since it was too expensive.
However, the item was still sent to their home.
Men were also taken in, like one 20-year-old student in Australia who was researching prices for blackhead removal masks.
When he received an unsolicited package, he contacted the centre as well as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCA) for advice.
They shared a public alert on the retailer and asked him to lodge a complaint.
The centre's legal and policy manager Mandeep Singh said people should be cautious when dealing with websites asking for personal information.
"Would you give a stranger your details? People should treat websites with equal caution," he said.
Housewife Sinar Musa, 29, said she narrowly avoided falling victim despite being bombarded with advertisements by LuxStyle on Facebook.
"It was really popular about two weeks ago, you couldn't help seeing it. But now the ads seem to have died down," she said, adding that she only found out about the pitfalls from her friends recently.
There were also many complaints made by Malaysians and Singaporeans to a Facebook page "LuxStyle International Scam Singapore Page" that was advising victims on what to do if they received the unwanted products.
Student Muhammad Syahir Asyraf posted that the company told him he had agreed to receive the items by clicking the "Order Now" button on its site, even though he closed the order window as he had no credit card or PayPal account.
"I feel like I was 'tricked' into this. Am I at fault? Is it legal for a company to send packages you didn't actually order?" he said.
Facebook user Deema Yanni Ma'at posted about her bad experience, including receiving poor quality mascara and bad customer service when she tried to return the unwanted products.
"I believe this firm tracked who visited their website and because I had purchased their lash mascara product before, they just created an order for the mask and sent me e-mail confirmation," she said.
After a lengthy e-mail exchange, she said the company finally agreed to cancel the order she did not make but later sent her an invoice claiming she owed them money as a late penalty, even though the order was cancelled.