I feel like an idiot writing this post. But me admitting my idiocy might probably save someone else from being scammed. So here goes:
I shop for a lot of things online. I’m well acquainted with the process and follow fairly good safety guidelines. I recently purchased lovely artificial jhumkas and chaandbaalis (Indian style earrings) online. So due to my search history and electronic footprint, I kept getting these advertisements of this website selling gorgeous artificial Indian jewellery. So I clicked on the link and I found it quite interesting. The website was built well. There was no problem browsing and it never got stuck or hung. It seemed legitimate to me. It was fairly easy to navigate through it and add things into my wishlist and cart. They had social media linked to it and some reviews as well. There was a mobile number that was contactable and even rang when I tried. This was the piece I was interested in. I purchased this lovely set. And then I waited in excited anticipation.
And then I waited some more. Many days passed and I realized the status of my order never changed. Now whenever I tried to contact their customer service, nobody received the calls. I messaged them. It went way beyond the delivery date and my item was still not shipped. I even messaged them threatening to lodge a police complaint. But everyone knows, no decent person here has the time or the inclination to deal with cops. I’m not saying they’re all corrupt. Sure, there are some gems out there. But everyone just wants to avoid crossing paths with them. And the scamsters know that well enough. Nobody is going to get involved with the cops unless the amount is absolutely worth the hassle.
Later I realized some of the housekeeping staff in our building lost their money to this same site. They have been getting away with this for months now. Apparently they started during the lockdown and their business just hit off really well because so many people got introduced to online shopping during that time. Also, because of the conditions, people were willing to wait a very long time to receive their orders.
Now, I paid through a wallet. Needless to say, I deleted all my information from that wallet and emptied it out completely. But they have tie ups with all the big banks. When I tried calling them, the bank and wallet customer service providers told me since I myself had authorized the payment, it was not reversible. Now, I completely understand that. But, unless I choose the really difficult and hurdle-filled legal path where I will lose at least 10 times more money in addition to the 419 bucks I already lost, there is no way I can retrieve it or take them to task.
A lady of meager means who works as a janitor purchased 4 sarees from them. She placed an order collectively with her neighbours. Since, they don’t have any bank account or online banking services, they chose their usual COD option. Victims who opt for cash on delivery receive a parcel alright. But once they open it, they find tattered, old, torn, used and abused clothes/items in there. I won’t name the other people. But, it’s really sad. Now, her neighbours are harassing her to return their money that they lost. I explained the situation to her when she asked for my advice/help (which is usually just speaking to customer service agents in English/Hindi). But, she didn’t want the hassle with cops and said she’d rather lose this way. Ever since, she curses them daily calling them ‘dogs’ and wishes some really gory and horrendous things upon them.
In a day and age where data and information is highly priced, I feel insecure knowing I shared my address and phone number with them. That is a saleable asset too.
You see, it’s not just about my 419 rupees. They have been doing this since the beginning of 2020 and duping a lot of people everwhere all through the country.
All over Facebook, you can see their advertisements pop up everwhere online. They’re scamsters. Their number seems to be registered in Gujarat because you get a message in Gujarati from the network provider when you dial. This is the number provided on their website: 9510161829
I request your co-operation. Please forward and share this article in the interest of the public. It may help someone. Maybe if this article is circulated, it may save some poor person from being tricked. Also, a little piece of advice from someone who got stung…. the economy is not in a very good condition now. After COVID, everyone has been pushed into corners and walls. So be careful with your money and purchases and choose/invest/assist wisely.
Take Care. Stay safe. Be blessed! -RUELHA www.ruelha.com