'I've never been so humiliated in my life'

'I've never been so humiliated in my life'

The humiliation was hard to take and although she was conned in November, it still rankles.

First, she was cheated of her money and then after the scammer took the money, he twisted the knife further and humiliated her by calling her a fool for being conned.

The double whammy was tough, especially when all she wanted was to buy a present for her teenage son's birthday in November last year.

The woman, who wanted to be known only as Miss Jan, was tempted by an attractive online offer and parted ways with $900 for three upmarket mobile phones.

"Not only did I lose money but he also mocked me and called me a fool for it. I've never been so humiliated in my life," she said.

Miss Jan, 39, a clerk, who is married with two teenage sons, is not the only one who has fallen prey to such online scams.

The police said there has been an increase of such cases where scammers entice victims with attractive online advertisements of mobile phones or tablets with low prices for a limited time.

And this was what happened to Miss Jan when she noticed an "offer" posted on her secondary school alumni's Facebook group. Her son's birthday was in a few days' time.

"I was desperate and ready to buy a mobile phone as a present for him.

"I also thought I could trust the person as he was in the alumni group," she said.

Miss Jan, who earns about $2,500 a month and lives in a five-room flat, contacted the unknown man, who offered her three mobile phones - an iPhone 5S, a Samsung Note 3 and a Sony Xperia - for $900.

RETAIL PRICE

The retail price for each phone is about $1,000 or more.

The man also instructed her to transfer the money to a local bank account before he would mail the phones over.

"At first, I did not want to transfer the money. I told him I wanted to meet him in person to exchange the cash for the phones. But he told me this was not his practice," she said.

Under pressure from her son's impending birthday and on his promise that the phones would arrive within a day, she relented and transferred the money.

"I didn't have much time then. I felt like I had to make a decision fast."

And she knew it was a bad one when she received a call from an unknown, overseas number.

The unknown caller instructed her to take a photograph of the bank transaction receipt and send it to him.

She also received an e-mail saying that the orders were "insufficient" and that she would have to purchase more phones.

"At that point, I knew I was cheated. I immediately made a police report," she said.

As for the post on the Facebook group, she posted a comment doubting the credibility of the offer.

"I didn't want anyone else to fall for it and be cheated," she said.

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