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Can you spot a scam while shopping online?
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From luxury bags to durians, many have spotted “too good to be true” offers online. But can you detect a real deal from a fake one?

Today, it’s so much easier to shop online, whether directly on a website, social media or via a QR code. And you don’t have to wait till you’re off work to hit the shops. You can pretty much do this 24/7.

With more time spent online and scrolling through social media, chances are you’ve come across decent discounts. However, many of these “amazing deals” can turn out to be expensive mistakes if you’re not careful.
Salina’s wardrobe scam

Here’s a story of what happened to “Salina”, largely based on a Reddit Brunei post.

Salina was scrolling through social media one evening and came across a wardrobe that caught her eye. She sent a direct message to the seller, who suggested they move the conversation to WhatsApp. After a few questions regarding the wardrobe, Salina said she would get back to the seller.

While doing research on the internet, she found the same wardrobe on other websites for five times the price. Thinking she had done enough research , she reached out to the seller again on WhatsApp. The seller replied that the “discount” would expire in few hours, and that she would have to pay the full amount to secure the “deal”. Salina transferred the money into the bank account given to her but failed to receive an invoice from the seller. At that moment, she felt everything happened too quickly and became suspicious.

After waiting a few weeks, Salina had not received her order and when she contacted the seller, she was told it would be sent once the item arrived. Several weeks later, she still hadn’t received the product and reached out to ask for a refund. She knew at this point she was scammed as the seller ghosted her.

Luxury goods, durians and fake URLs

In another account on Reddit Brunei, one victim detailed a luxury item scam where she found an out-of-stock bag online. The price for the item kept changing, with the seller citing price increases, and the victim kept having to top up the amount before receiving her item. The story had the same ending as Salina’s story – the bag never arrived as the seller kept giving excuses for delays in shipment dates.

Such instances aren’t just limited to products, it can also happen to produce. According to a report on Stomp, a woman’s craving for the king of fruits led her to fall for an elaborate durian scam where she lost over SGD50,000. She came across an ad on social media for a durian promotion, reached out to a seller and was asked to download an app to apply for membership. The seller’s instructions required her to enter her bank account details into the app. She only realised the following day when accessing her account that there was only SGD7 left.

There’s also the brand impersonation scam, where websites of popular brands like Nike and Puma are replicated by scammers to look like the real thing. For example, Puma’s real website address in Singapore is sg.puma.com, while the fake websites in circulation include pumaoutletsingapore.com, puma-shoes-singapore.com and pumasalesingapore.com. When you enter your email, password and credit card details to purchase a product, you’ll soon realise that you either receive nothing or a fake product.

Scam alert!
Other common online shopping scams may not be as elaborate. Many look “normal” at first glance, like the fake delivery alert, the link you receive with special offer, or the phishing email with well wishes for Ramadhan.

So, how can you stay safe while shopping? Here are five tips to spot the red flags:

  1. Too good to be true offers. Crazy discounts, unrealistic rewards? Always be sceptical of offers that seem overly generous.
  2. Lack of information. If you find a deal that is lacking in product information or the terms and conditions aren’t clear, these are signs of a scam. Ultimately, scammers want to protect themselves and unclear information makes it harder for them to be held accountable.
  3. Urgency and pressure tactics. The pressure to act fast to secure a deal? That’s usually a red flag as scammers typically employ such tactics to create a sense of urgency or to pressure you into making a quick decision.
  4. Spelling or grammatical mistakes. The social media accounts or websites of scammers usually have obvious spelling mistakes, like Per-Order instead of Pre-Order.
  5. Request for personal information. Especially if the request comes unexpectedly or from an unverified source. Scammers often use phishing emails, fake websites or fraudulent phone calls to trick individuals to reveal sensitive information like passwords or credit card numbers.

In the unfortunate event that you’ve been scammed, report the incident immediately at your nearest police station. You can expediate the process by preparing a draft statement in Malay or English. Remember to also print out any screenshots of messages, conversations or documents shared between you and the scammer. You should also include the phone number, email address or URL used by the scammer.

If you suspect that your bank account or personal information have been compromised, contact your bank immediately. Baiduri Bank customers can call our 24-hour Customer Helpline at 244 9666.

If you believe your social media accounts have been compromised, notify all your contacts through a post and report the incident to the respective social media platform.



You can also reach out to CyberSecurity Brunei for queries and advice, via their hotline at 245 8001 (24 hours), WhatsApp at 717 0766, or email at [email protected].


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19 September 2023

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If your company has not transitioned to b.Digital Business, please ensure that every existing user provides the following by 8 October 2023 through the Business i-Banking Inbox:
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Alternatively, you can complete the b.Digital Business Amendment Form and submit the form(s) directly to Baiduri Digital Hub, Ground Level, Baiduri Bank Headquarters.

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