UPDATED: A Tongan woman in Auckland said she believed she was being scammed by a stranger who appeared to be of Tongan identity on Facebook messenger claiming to have owned ngatus for advertisement.
‘Alilia Teu Kata told Kaniva News she is expected to file a complaint with Police after a Facebook user by the name of Pina Tiueti failed to deliver the ngatu to her house on Friday.
Kata claimed she deposited $400 into the seller’s bank account under the name S Pina Ta’ai.
It is not clear whether Tiueti or the person who owned the Facebook account was real or fake.
Kata said she saw the advertisement on her news feed in which the alleged scammer advertised ngatus with sizes ranging from Ngatu ‘Uli Launima at NZ$1,600 to Toka 10 at NZ$300.
She said she deposited the $400 into the bank account after agreeing with Tiueti to buy one of the items.
Kata said Tiueti told her she was coming from Hamilton but she was staying in Onehunga at 85 Grey Street.
Kata said they have checked and found out there was no such address in Onehunga.
She also contacted Tiueti repeatedly since Friday after making the deposit but to no avail.
Kata regretted her lack of judgement.
“I have learnt from this and I will never trust somebody I do not know again,” Kata said.
Tiueti has been contacted through her messenger for comment.
The advertisement was still on her Facebook page.
It said she borrowed the ngatus from her mother.
She seemed to believe her prices were too cheap and told customers “she wanted loving one another”.
She has 472 friends on Facebook and on the comment section under the advertisement, Tiueti was seen replying to Kata and told her she has received her deposit.
“Alilia Teu Kata thanks your deposit was received. See you on Friday”.
Police advised people to search Facebook for the profile name. If a profile was fake, there would often be more than one account using the same name.
Shoppers should also ask for a photo of the item with something dated, for example a newspaper or something similar, to ask for a photo of the item with the person in it, and to ring the bank to check that the account number given matches the name given.
You can also report the case to your bank or the scammer’s bank.