Swindled online in HK

Posted by Brit2014 6 mths ago
Hi, basically I took a risk and was using one of the popular apps in HK to buy an item that was pretty cheap. The seller asked for payment upfront first (a deposit), which I was hesitant to do but she seemed quite trustworthy and had good feedback as well as listing her own personal items so I figured she would be OK. Anyway, the item was sent and the payment was settled - though I still held onto a few hundred $ as I said I need to authenticate the item (though she got pretty mad at the time, then cooled down).

I later found the item to be very suspect and actually a counterfeit. I complained to the seller and she said that I had to send the item back first to her distributor (not to her) so that they can check and process the payment refund. Of course at this point, I'm pretty hesitant, but my partner reasons that a fake product is useless anyway, but also the police won't help. The seller didn't accept any other way (e.g. Give me half the money first as she claimed the money was used to pay the distributor). So since she seemed like she was making the effort for us (she could have just not responded), then we took the risk in sending it back. So we sent the item back (SF express to the locker for pickup) and the distributor eventually picked it up a few days after it arrived. Throughout, the seller was communicating with me, polite, gave me some apparent personal anecdotes and promised to get in touch with the distributor to arrange a refund. Eventually, when I questioned why she was taking so long, she seemed to have blocked me.

Of course, I knew there were some risks, but times are hard and I just wanted to get something nice for my partner and figured people in HK are generally decent so I went with it.

I have some details that I feel can track down the seller (though the phone number may not be much use now), but I paid using Payme and was originally sent the item from her distributor's home address (seems New Territories) etc.

Any ideas on what I can do next? I've put in a report to customs and am awaiting a response.

It's not the amount of money that bothers me, it's the betrayal of trust

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