The package delivered to a Dubai resident (inset).


‘Online seller sent me plastic instead of Dh300 clothes’


DUBAI – A Dubai resident who was sent an inflatable plastic pillow instead of clothes worth Dh300 from an online seller has warned against fraudsters on social media.

Melanie (not her real name) told she almost got duped after receiving the package from the delivery man on Monday (April 5).

“The seller posted his items on WhatsApp, so I contacted him to buy clothes worth Dh300 to be delivered to my home,” she said.

The Dubai resident said she was still cautious about the sale, so she chose cash on delivery as a mode of payment.

“He responded to me using a WhatsApp number from overseas, but what was even weird was when he said I should ‘not open the package’ while the delivery man was still around,” she told

When the delivery man arrived with the package on Monday afternoon, Melanie said she noticed that the parcel given to her was thin and light.

“I was expecting something bulky, so opened the package right away. I was so shocked to find that it was just a folded piece of inflatable plastic,” she said.

She quickly called the delivery man. “Thankfully, he hadn’t gone far and was still in the building so I called him back and he returned my money,” she said.

Melanie said the experience has taught her to be wary when dealing with online sellers. She plans to report the incident to the authorities.

“You have to do your background check when buying anything online. Check the reputation of the store or the seller. If you’re not sure, you can choose cash on delivery so you can still return the item if it doesn’t meet your expectations,” she advised.

Authorities have repeatedly warned consumers against fraudsters using social media and websites to post fake advertisements.

Here are tips from the Department of Economic Development:

• Be sure to buy from sites that have good reputation and read carefully the terms of sale, especially the terms of delivery and the terms of refund through internet. As some sites contain boxes for frequently asked questions, you may check them if you have any questions or problems.

• Before sending your information to the site you buy from, make sure that the data and the figures for your purchases and credit card details are correct.

• Keep a copy of the purchase order each time you buy it through network then print it, and keep a copy of it on the hard disk.

• Never give details and data of your credit card or via e-mail or through chat rooms.

• Review your credit card statement for online purchases and names of the companies from which you purchased, which may sometimes differ from the name of their website.

• Use only one credit card to buy online and allocate it for this purpose so that you can easily discover any attempt to use your card and make sure that the balance of this card is proportional to the value of your purchases online.

• The absence of the pre-purchase checking requirement may lead the consumer to get involved receiving spoiled products due to the inability to see goods before purchase.

• Read the explanatory notes for the products offered for sale and make sure of the liability of transport and delivery costs to the consumer.
• Buy from reputable sites protects you from fake and counterfeit goods.

ICA/Expat Media


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