Finland’s auction websites and the fraud victims are on the rise as the fraudster has found ways to exploit legal system in Finland.
Most people usually buy used stuff as it serves the same purpose as the newer once but at a cheaper price. Auction sites mainly play a vital role to connect consumers with each other to buy or sell products at a negotiated price.
However the transaction activity may come at a cost when the seller is previously involved in fraudulent activity. They know the legal system and they usually have ways to escape state punishment or pay back the money to the buyer which creates a lack of buyer confidence as well as atmosphere of despair.
Tori & Huuto Services
Finland’s Tori.fi and Huuto.net are two major websites for consumer to buy or sell new or used products without intermediate party. Huuto service provides a user interface for consumer to bid on a product but Tori doesn’t provide any such user interface for bidding, however the consumers in Tori service can negotiate and settle price privately via email or phone. It means once both parties agreed to settle the price and shipment of products, the buyer transfer the money to seller bank account (which is usually a Finnish Bank like Nordea or Osuuspankki etc) and the seller after confirmation of payment sends the package to the buyers address.
Unlike Ebay which gives protection to consumers by paying back to the buyer if a fraudulent activity takes place, Tori.fi and huuto.net don’t provide any protection to consumers.
Many fraudster in Tori and huuto are putting non-existent products at lower prices to get poor victims attention. Once the victim finds such non-existent product and start negotiating with fraudster, victims are being told to transfer the amount to their bank account before dispatching items at their address.
The bank accounts are in mainly Finnish banks such as Nordea, Osuspankki and the victims are usually satisfied with the transaction as they find it easy to track the individual and are in hope to get their money back if the seller is fraudster. But this is not the case as the official way of bank is;
The bank will pay back if the transaction takes place using a credit card. i.e. VISA or Master Card etc.
So most of the victims usually pay by bank directly in which case the bank don’t pay back to the buyer unless they get an order from court – which is the legal system.
The bank will mainly tell victim to lodge a fraudulent activity report in police station and follow up the proceedings in court. This usually takes a very long time and the victim has to appear to court proceedings if any.
Eventually if the court gives decision in victim’s favor there is still no guarantee that the victim might get his money back. It is due to the fact that fraudster are usually drug addicts, burglars and either they spend or keep the money out of bank some where else, so that authorities are not able to extract the money from their account and pay back to the victim.
How much is it real?
I have been the victim myself at the time of writing this post. I have the fraudster bank account, bank transaction, phone number, email address and the full transcript of Watsapp chat conversation. I will post it soon after confirming with legal authorities to post such information. The information presented here is based on the real victims who shared their experiences of becoming victims to fraudulent activities on huuto and tori services. There is an old post in finlandforum portal about the victim’s experiences. You can read the post here. There are many Finns who are themselves victims to such fraudulent activities and the information can be found in Google using “Huuto petos” or “Tori petos” or similar keywords. Petos is a Finnish term for “Fraud”. You might need Google translate to get a glimpse of how bad it is.
Complaint to Police or Self awareness
Complaint to police is mandatory as at some point of the time the fraudster should get state punishment for his deeds and there are chances that the buyer may get his money back.
Self awareness is the most important part as every body needs to be prepared to avoid such fraudsters in their daily activities on huuto or tori. Until and unless Banks, Huuto – Tori or state redefines some new rules and regulations its always good to have a clear mind and not to fell prey to fraudulent traps. Here is my check list of what should be done before starting a transaction activity.
- Don’t buy products whose prices are too cheap to be true.
- Always try to buy items in your own locality.
- Try to pick up the product and pay in cash rather than bank transaction. Check the item first before paying cash.
- Cash on delivery is also good if provided.
- Don’t buy expensive items from other locality if you can’t confirm the seller identity first.
As one of my friend used to tell me,
When money is in your pocket, its your money and When its out of your pocket, its no longer your money.
Please share it with your friends and family for more exposure and self awareness.