Apple AirPods selling at $265 seem like a great deal, until buyer realises it’s a sophisticated scam
Lee Jia Xuan had been on the hunt for a new pair of Apple AirPods Pro Gen 2 when she came across someone selling them for $265 on Carousell – about $100 cheaper than the retail price.
While she did suspect that the deal may be too good to be true, the silver-tongued seller managed to convince her the item was genuine.
It was only much later when Lee brought them to an iStudio store for repairs that she realised the AirPods were counterfeit.
Upset, she took to TikTok on Monday night (March 20) to share about how she had been baited by the unscrupulous man.
Lee shared that when she asked the seller why he was selling the AirPods for “such a low price”, he smartly told her: “My uncle gave this to me for my birthday and I already have [an] AirPods Max.”
“Legitimate reason,” said Lee, adding that the seller had “outsmarted” her.
The box was also brand new and sealed, which made it even more convincing.
Covering his tracks
During the transaction, Lee said the seller asked her to pay in cash explaining it was because he did not want his mother to know he was selling the AirPods.
Lee only realised in hindsight that he had done so to cover his tracks.
“If I pay him via cash, there are no receipts to prove that I paid him,” she explained.
“How did I not see the red flag? Was I blind?”
To paint himself in a good light, the man even gave Lee an AirPods case and said that while it cost a dollar, she could have it for free.
“He scammed me [out of] $265 and I thanked him for a $1 case,” she said regretfully.
That’s not all. The man even taught Lee how to check the serial code of the device “in detail”, which further convinced her that the AirPods were genuine.
Later on, when Lee tried to connect the AirPods to her phone, it worked and she did not suspect that something was amiss.
“I even messaged him on Carousell and said: ‘Thank you for not being a scammer.'”
She only realised the AirPods were fake when she brought them to an iStudio store to check if they could fix a malfunction and was told they were not genuine.
AsiaOne has reached out to Lee for more details.
Not an isolated case
On March 18, the police said they have received several reports between March 11 to 15 from victims who suspected they were cheated into buying fake AirPods on Carousell.
“The counterfeit AirPods were represented as authentic and deceptively packaged in sealed boxes with serial numbers,” said the police.
After thorough investigations, the police established the identities of two men, aged 26 and 31, and arrested them on March 17.
Eighteen boxes of counterfeit AirPods and three mobile phones were also seized as case exhibits.
The men will be charged in court on March 18 with the offence of cheating under section 420 of the Penal Code 1871. The offence carries an imprisonment term of up to ten years and a fine.