As plant growing continues to be a trending hobby, multiple scammers have emerged, creating fake social media accounts to con Malaysians into buying plants online
Recent posts in several local plant groups warn Malaysians of accounts that appear to sell plants online but then disappear once the money is banked in.
The modus operandi is simple. 'Plant sellers' initially appear to respond to customers' inquiries.
Once customers agree to purchase the plants and bank in the money, the 'sellers' then block them, change their profile picture and name, or just vanish.
After enquiring about plants, one customer banked in RM100 to a 'seller' who then stopped responding to him. In his Facebook post, he advises to do cash on delivery (COD) or purchase from trusted sellers instead.
Another user shared their personal experience with a scammer.
"Good morning, I was recently scammed by a seller in this group. But the person deactivated their Facebook account and blocked me on WhatsApp. Although I didn't lose too much money, it still hurts that I was scammed," he wrote.
"I will include the bank account number of the scammer here so that no one else will become a victim of it too."
He then included a screenshot of the account number in the comments.
According to users, one 'plant seller', in particular, who appears to be from Indonesia, also recently scammed several Malaysians
Based on Facebook posts in plant group, Kelab Peminat Aroid (Caladium, Aglaonema, Alocasia, Colocasia DII), the seller appears to change their profile picture multiple times using different people's faces.
Others wrote that the same 'seller' immediately blocked their accounts once they banked in the money.
A user commented with the bank account details of the alleged scammer
So if you're buying plants online, take note and do your research to check if the seller is legit
If it sounds dodgy, it is best to avoid doing business with the seller unless you are willing to risk it.