PETALING JAYA: Online scams involving videos stolen from legitimate sellers have increased on social media platforms, such as TikTok.

Online boutique owner Puteri Nur A’in Zulkepli, 34, who is affiliated with several food and skincare brands, shared her experience with theSun.

“I have been selling products on TikTok for three years but five months ago, I received WhatsApp messages from individuals claiming they had not received their products despite placing orders two weeks earlier.

“Some raised the issue during my usual afternoon live sessions, which raised my suspicions. When I asked for their order numbers, none matched my records.

“I urged them to contact me directly and to my surprise, they had lost more than RM4,000 as their orders were placed with scammers.”

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She said about 40 individuals had placed orders during a midnight live session, which she did not host.

“It was then that I discovered someone had used my videos to sell products, causing me significant financial losses and damaging my reputation.”

She immediately reported the account to TikTok, made a video to inform customers about the scam and updated her usual timing of live sales.

“I updated my videos by including the date and time and informed my viewers about these changes to prevent them from falling victim to the fake midnight live sessions,” she said, adding that while she felt sorry for them, she was unable to reimburse the buyers as the sale was not concluded by her.

She said local online sellers are already struggling to make a profit and such scams make the difficult situation even worse.

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Online sports attire seller Soo Yin Yee, 29, said seeing her hard work being exploited by scammers was heartbreaking.

“My sales plummeted after my video was hijacked by scammers. Normally, I sell between 200 and 300 pairs of gym pants a day. But now, I struggle to sell even 100.

“I hope the public will be vigilant and do some due diligence before making any online purchase as it is important to verify seller legitimacy.”

She said taking such measures could help prevent potential scams and ensure a satisfying shopping experience.

Bukit Aman Commercial Criminal Investigations Department (CCID) director Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf warned the public to beware of such online scams, which are becoming more sophisticated.

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He told theSun that the public should take several steps to protect themselves from online scammers.

“First, always verify the seller profile and look for verified badges, read reviews and compare the page history with the seller’s activities.

“If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. So, look up the seller’s name and the product to see if there are any complaints or warnings.

“If possible, contact the seller through an official website or known contact methods to verify if the TikTok page is legitimate.”

He said in cases of suspicious TikTok activity, the public should check the account at the CCID portal

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“They should report it under the ‘Frauds and Scams’ section of TikTok as this helps it take immediate action and keep the community safe from scammers.

“Opt for payment methods that offer buyer protection, such as credit cards or reputable payment services.”

Ramli emphasised that the public should strive to stay informed about common scam tactics and share information within their communities to help others stay safe.

“Do not stay silent. Share what you have come across with friends, family and colleagues to make them aware of any scams.”