It seemed too good a bargain to miss, a spanking new Bugaboo baby buggy, the favorite of fashion-conscious parents, for less than half the normal price. \nYusuf Hatia and his wife Sarah Taylor, who are expecting their first child, were among the many who spotted the offer on the Internet auction site eBay and dashed off an email expressing their interest. \nBut, of course, as the consumer experts are always at pains to stress, if it seems like too good a bargain to be true, it probably is. \nHatia, a 32-year-old marketing consultant in the UK, and Taylor, 30, a teacher, were drawn into a simple but clever scam involving fake websites and COD emails. \nThey are not alone. There have been many hundreds of cons across the world in which eBay bargain hunters have been ripped off. \nThe potential dangers were highlighted this week when it emerged that a teenager from south Wales tricked site users out of ?45,000 by promising them electrical goods which turned out not to exist. \nBut the fraud does not stop there. The virtual auction house, beloved of the wife of the British prime minister who used it to buy designer shoes, has become an online flea market for illicit goods ranging from pirate music to antiquities of dubious origins. \nThe company insists it is doing all it can to clamp down on the sale of illegal goods -- it told The Guardian newspaper that only this week it caught a person who was trying to illicitly trade a very large hoard of coins. \nBut eBay acknowledges that its size -- it has 114 million users across the world and 10 million items on sale at any one time -- makes it difficult to police. \nNot all are convinced it is doing enough. One expert in pirate DVDs, whose job involves liaising with the company, said: "On the one hand eBay is willing to cooperate when it is pointed out that something is not right but it does not seem to be very proactive about nailing the bad guys." \nHatia's and Taylor's case is a good example of how buyers hoping for a cut-price deal are tempted away from the relative safety of the site. \nAfter expressing his interest in the buggy via the site, Hatia, of east London, was contacted directly -- not through eBay -- by the supposed seller and offered a red Bugaboo "Frog" for US$550. The "seller" told him she would hand over the buggy to the carrier, TNT. \nIt would notify Hatia when it had the buggy and he would send the cash to her via the transfer service Western Union and give TNT the payment details. \nOnce TNT had delivered the buggy, he would instruct the carrier to release the payment information so she could collect the money. \nThe trick in such cases is that the real, respectable TNT carrier is not involved at all. Emails purporting to come through TNT come straight from the con artists. The links to sites which are included on the "seller's" email are to fake TNT sites created by the fraudsters. The victim is releasing the payment details straight to those behind the deception. \nHatia became suspicious and pulled out. As a marketing expert he sees the skill in tempting him with a clever choice of product. \nTNT has come across around 40 such cases in the UK, involving a range of goods. The giant US carriers have received many hundreds of complaints. \nGarreth Griffith, head of safety for eBay in the UK, said only 0.01 percent of the transactions carried out on the site could be confirmed as fraud. \nHe had not come across the TNT scam but pointed out there were warnings on eBay about the dangers of trading off-site and sending money by electronic transfer. \nGriffith said 1,000 people around the world worked on security issues for eBay. High- and low-tech innovations were continually being introduced to make fraud more difficult. \nBut the bottom line for the company is that buyers in the virtual world should use the same common sense they would use in a street market.
Malaysian authorities have advised women to wear makeup, not to nag their husbands and speak with a cartoon character’s soothing voice during the virus lockdown, sparking a flood of mockery online. Like many countries, Malaysia has ordered all citizens to stay at home to stem the spread of COVID-19, which, as of yesterday, had killed at least 39,070 people globally. In a series of online posters with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, the Malaysian Ministry of Women and Family Development issued advice on how to avoid domestic conflicts during the partial lockdown, which began on March 18. One of the campaign posters depicted
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Japan’s ruling party yesterday proposed the nation’s biggest-ever stimulus package of ￥60 trillion (US$554 billion) as the COVID-19 pandemic locks the economy in a recession. The sum includes ￥20 trillion in fiscal measures with private initiatives and other elements likely making up the rest, the proposal by the Liberal Democratic Party showed. More than ￥10 trillion, or the equivalent of a 5 percentage point cut in the sales tax rate, would be handed out to the public in a combination of cash, subsidies and coupons, the plan showed. The proposal puts an initial figure on a stimulus package that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo