Rotterdam Man Faces 6 Years for Online Scam

Estimated read time 3 min read

Picture this. A male, aged 30, has allegedly conned 190 folks through dodgy online stores. That’s right – he made a cool €120,000. And his tool of choice? Fraudulent webshops selling brand-name clothes.

Pay for Designer Clothes, Get Nothing in Return

Sounds like a bargain, doesn’t it? You spot a fantastic deal on some high-end clothing online, so naturally, you pay. But here’s the catch – you never receive your order. That’s how this con artist got away with it. A classic bait and switch scheme, but this time, the bait was pricey designer clothes, and the switch was… well, nothing at all.

Money Spent on Luxuries, Trips, and Cosmetic Procedures

Now, where did all that stolen money go? According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM), this crafty criminal lived the high life. Think luxury goods, exotic trips, even cosmetic procedures. What’s more, the man apparently used ‘money mules’ to collect his ill-gotten gains. Why? His own bank accounts were blocked. A smart move, no doubt, but one that makes his crimes all the more egregious.

OM Shows No Mercy for Digital Criminals

What’s the OM’s response? They’re requesting a 6-year prison sentence. That’s right, half a dozen years behind bars. The message? The OM won’t tolerate digital crime. They’re ready to crack down hard.

Social Media Traps: How This Online Scam Unfolds

Let’s break it down. How exactly does this kind of online scam operate? The digital con artists often use popular platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to reel in their victims. Here’s the rundown.

Step 1: A Tempting Ad Appears

First up, a mouth-watering ad pops up on your social media feed. Perhaps it’s a high-end designer piece at a shockingly low price. Or maybe it’s a limited-time deal that seems too good to miss. The bait is set.

Step 2: Click, Browse, Buy

The ad piques your curiosity. You click, browse the online store, and ultimately, you decide to make a purchase. It’s a bargain, right? That’s exactly what the scammer wants you to believe.

Step 3: The Wait Begins

Now, you wait. Days turn into weeks. Weeks roll into months. But your eagerly awaited package? Nowhere in sight. Despite your numerous follow-ups, the seller remains elusive.

Step 4: The Brutal Reality

Finally, you realize the truth. You’ve been scammed. The Instagram or Facebook store is fake. The seller is unresponsive, the website vanishes, and you’re left with a lighter wallet and a bitter taste of deception.

This online con is simple, but brutally effective. And it’s thriving on social media platforms where trust is often assumed. So remember: if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Do your homework, verify the seller, and always approach online deals with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Done reading? Continue with this one; Cyberattack Defense 101: Essential Tips for Everyone.

Reza Rafati

Reza Rafati, based in the Netherlands, is the founder of An industry professional providing insightful commentary on infosec, cybercrime, cyberwar, and threat intelligence, Reza dedicates his work to bolster digital defenses and promote cyber awareness.

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