Scammers target perfume buyers using name of local shops

Nawara Fattahova

Scammers work through a variety of means to make their money off unsuspecting victims. From emails to telephone calls to whatsapp messages. In the Gulf we suffer a lot from scammers, both based in the region and ones working in neighboring states.

A new scam in Kuwait is targeting women via telephone calls. Sellers of counterfeit perfumes are making cold calls to local numbers, then pretending to be from well known local perfume shops. They offer ‘promotional’ rates on luxury brand perfumes and free delivery to your home.

Ibtisam is one of those who bought these perfumes, as the caller convinced her she can exchange any of the perfumes that she didn’t like at the local store. “When I received the phone call, I was doubtful about the genuineness of these perfumes, but when the caller assured me that I can exchange them at the well-known store if I change my mind, I trusted him, as I didn’t imagine he could be lying,” she told Kuwait Times.

After telling her friend about this great promotion, she was shocked by her response. “My friend said she is sure that this offer is a scam, as this popular store doesn’t have a delivery service and doesn’t need to hold such promotions as it’s already very much frequented by customers. So I had doubts and went to the store to find the truth. Unfortunately, the store’s staff told me I wasn’t the only one asking about this, as tens of people had come with a similar complaint,” explained Ibtisam.

“I paid KD 39 for three perfumes, which are worth over KD 90. After what they told me at the store, I realized the perfumes I bought are counterfeit. So I didn’t even open them and gave them away as gifts to my young niece. I tried to call the number of the seller, which was a landline, but they never answered. I didn’t file a case at the police station as my husband refused to let me file a complaint,” she concluded.

Visiting this store, the staff told Kuwait Times many people had been complaining about the fake perfume delivery scam since July. The saleslady said the management filed a case at the police station, as these scammers are spoiling their reputation by using the name of their store.
Fake perfumes usually have a similar smell as the real fragrances, but are much less intense. So if the original perfume lasts for a couple of hours, the fake perfume will disappear after a few minutes. Fake perfumes are also available at traditional markets and exhibitions, and never cost more than KD 5. So be careful and don’t get scammed by random callers offering discounted perfumes!

By Nawara Fattahova
[email protected]

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