On 9 December, Md Rakib Hossain, 22, a second-year college student, came across a Facebook page with mobile phones selling at incredibly lower prices.
Then, he ordered two sets of Vivo Y50 for Tk7,700 each and paid the money in advance. The current market price of this model is Tk15,990.
Two days later, Rakib received his shipments, and he opened the boxes and found two used feature phones of Nokia N105, which actually cost not more than Tk2000 in the market.
This is how online frauds trick many like Rakib into buying products, offering "too-good-to-be-true" prices.
Rackets of scammers – pretending to be legitimate online sellers – open Facebook pages claiming to sell popular items, from shoes to expensive smartphones, at huge discounts. They rip off unsuspecting shoppers, particularly from middle-class.
Another consumer named Sifat Hossain, who was duped by the conmen, lodged a lawsuit with the Mirpur Model Police Station.
Recently, the Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police in a drive arrested six reported online cheats.
The arrestees are Rocky Biswas, 25, Hekmat Ali, 27, Kacibur Rahman, 22, Shimul Mandal 22, Anichur Rahman Sheikh, 29 and Mazharul Islam, 24.
They even allegedly faked Daraz, a leading e-commerce site in the country, and opened Facebook pages like Daraz Online, Daraz Online 71, Daraz Online Shop, Daraz Express, and Daraz Online BD.
AKM Hafiz Akter, additional commissioner of Detective Branch in a press briefing on Monday told the media that the fraudulent group has already sold low-quality products to more than 200 customers across the country.
A team of the Lalbagh Division's DB also seized 202 pieces of courier service booking memos, 117 purchase orders, 46 pairs of low-quality shoes, 14 pieces of used and broken mobile handsets, 10 mobile chargers and a laptop.
Hafiz Akter also said gang members lure customers into buying smartphones, shoes, three-pieces, saris and other expensive items, offering discounts up to 50%.
When someone places an order to buy a smartphone or any other product, they take Tk150 in shipping cost. Later, they send low quality and unusable products to consumers through the SA Paribahan Courier Services, he added.
They send products through the renowned courier service providers to gain the trust of consumers. Finally, when consumers receive parcels and paid bills, they find cheap and low-quality products instead of their desired ones, Hafiz Akter said.
Among the arrestees, Rocky Biswas and Hekmat Ali run 16 online shopping pages, Kacibur Rahman five, and Shimul Mondol and his elder brother Ashikur Rahman have three online pages.