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  • Writer's picturehorizonsoundstaff

DTMers should also be wary of online stores with very low prices.

Updated: Nov 21, 2021

Recently, there seem to be a lot of fake websites out there. The products are varied and include musical instruments, DTM equipment, interior design, and even PC parts, all sold at low prices.

In fact, I got caught in one myself and am now trying to get a refund (by reimbursing the bank transfer) after consulting with my bank and the police. The name of the payee is an individual, and his bank account is currently frozen. The bank has politely explained that the payee has not withdrawn the deposit yet and that there is a possibility that the money will be returned. At about the same time, the police also informed us that they would move to freeze the account as it turned out to be a black store.

At this time of the year when Christmas is approaching, there are products on sale that are heavily discounted, so I was attracted by the price and pounced on it, which was the cause of my mistake. In hindsight, there were a number of suspicious points.

I'd like to share them here so that other people won't be fooled by suspicious sites. I would also like to share the steps I took. If you're lucky, you'll get your money back.

◾️Characteristics of Suspicious Shopping Sites

  • They ask you to make a bank transfer even though they support credit card payment.

  • Says it will send you a different bank account if you cannot make the payment by the deadline.

  • A company that does not exist or is in a completely different industry than the one you purchased.

  • Calling the phone number on the website leads to a company in a completely different industry.

  • The account to be transferred is in the name of an individual.

  • The branch of the bank account is far from the company's location.

  • The location of the company is different from the location listed in the search results.

  • When you search for an email address, it appears in the list of scam sites.

  • The price of the product is much lower than the market price for used products

  • The URL is an unintelligible string of characters

  • There is no contact after the transfer (payment)

Hey, I'm not sure if I've fallen for a suspicious site so far, but it's a site that usually comes up when you search for a product name. And since it was the Christmas season, I was convinced of the unusual price.

◾️What I did about it.

  1. On the next business day after I made the payment, I went to the bank first thing in the morning to ask for a reversal (reclassification) of the transfer because I thought there was a high possibility that I had been defrauded. However, the bank clerk told me that I would have to get the consent of the payee before I could reclaim the money.

  2. Next, I contacted the police station in advance to ask for advice because I might have been a victim of a fraudulent website. I was told that they would be happy to talk to me at the police station if I had time, so I asked for some time. Since smartphones have become so popular these days, I had all my emails and website screen captures on my phone.

  3. I went to the police station and showed them the order confirmation email, the money transfer request email, and the screen captures of the shopping sites I had purchased (the top site, the product page, and the company profile so that the URL would show up). I showed them the still working website, and contacted the phone number listed in the company profile in the presence of a member of the police department's criminal division. I was then connected to a customer center in a completely unrelated industry, and the police station concluded that they would put me on the consultation list. (It's not a damage report yet, but the police will give me a number where I can see that they have consulted with me.)

  4. When I went to the bank where I transferred the money again and gave them the number in the consultation book issued by the police station, they contacted the bank where I transferred the money, claiming that I was a victim of fraud. I was then able to call the bank and learn more about the situation.

  5. After that, as luck would have it, the payee's account was frozen at the bank's discretion because the payee had not withdrawn the money yet and there had been a series of suspicious transfers that seemed to be a similar fraudulent scheme (when an account is frozen, no deposits or withdrawals can be made, so I assume the money I transferred is still there). I think the money I transferred is still there. However, I still don't know if the full amount will be refunded). So there is now a possibility that the money will be returned to the owner after the police investigation.

And so far, I have finally breathed a sigh of relief. It took me five days, including weekends, and three business days to complete the transaction.

The rest was left to the investigation of the police and the bank, but it seems that the name of the payee contacted the bank himself, saying that he was also a victim.

But is it really just a victim who realizes that his account has been stolen, his PIN number is known, and something is wrong with his bank account first thing Monday morning when he would normally be at work? The bank said they can't consult with the police if they are victims themselves, so they are going to wait and see. If the payee doesn't file a report with the police as per the bank's guidance, the bank will consult with the police, so we'll have to wait and see.

If you see a site that offers unusually low prices because it is Black Friday or Christmas, or if you see a site that fits the above characteristics, stay away from it.

Tiananmen, a spell to keep bad things away.

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