After hearing how a woman was scammed of $53,780 while trying to buy durians online recently, the owner of 99 Old Trees Durian, Kelvin Tan, felt that he needed to help her.
So, instead of handing her cold hard cash, he wants to give this woman, surnamed Xu, some $5,378 worth of Musang King durians, which is equivalent to around 200kg of the fruit.
In an interview with 8world on Tuesday (May 16), Tan said he hopes he can help the victim "regain her love for durians".
"Xu said that because of this incident, she no longer wants to eat durians. So, I want to help provide her with durians, let her fall in love with durians again, and continue to eat the durians she likes."
Tan also shared that the 200kg of durians is enough for 100 people and if Xu preferred other varieties of the fruit, he would willingly meet her request if there're available stocks.
As it is a lot of durians for one person, Tan initially hoped that the victim would resell the durians to recover her losses.
But later on, he thought of another idea, which is to spread out the durians over a few years.
"If it is difficult for Xu to handle so many durians at one time, we can divide it into ten years and send some durians to her in batches during each season," he said.
"This way, she, her relatives and friends can eat durians for a long time."
According to 8world, Tan has told Xu about his plans and is still awaiting her response.
"I also thought that she may say no, but that's okay," he said.
Restoring durian industry's reputation
Apart from wanting to help the victim, Tan told 8world that he hopes his actions will help the durian industry's bad reputation, one that has been tainted by scams and unscrupulous merchants.
"I wish to use this small act of kindness to tell everyone that there are still honest business owners."
He also hopes that other customers will not fall for such scams and advised them to be familiar with the market price of durians.
"If any store has ridiculously low prices, it's basically a scam," he shared, recommending consumers to buy their durians from physical stores whenever possible.
"During the pandemic, people got used to online shopping and some small durian shops only started out selling their fruits online," he said, adding that these businesses may not be as credible or as reputable as durian shops with a physical store.
"It is more reassuring to buy durians directly from a physical store."
She lost her life savings
Xu got sucked into the scam a few weeks back after trying to purchase durians online.
She had been drawn in by their Facebook advertisements for a durian promotion and reached out to the seller on May 4.
Xu was later contacted by another man who asked her to download an app, where she had to key in her personal information to apply for a membership.
She only realised that her bank account had been wiped out - save for a sad $7 - after she tried to use PayNow to pay for a meal.
"I found out that on Saturday, there were two unauthorised transfers in my account. The first transfer was $27,549 and the second was $26,231. These are my life savings," she shared with Lianhe Zaobao.
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