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'Penis enlarger' story: Funny hoax points out online purchase dangers

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The story of a man from Malaysia who bought a "penis enlarger" online, only to receive a magnifying glass instead, turns out to be a hoax. It was reported yesterday that the man had purchased the device for about $167, but got a $10 magnifying glass in the mail with the instructions, "Do not use in sunlight," according to The Star on Wednesday, June 4.

Malaysia's Customer Complaints Bureau chairman Datuk Seri Michael Chong clarified that his initial report of the penis enlarger debacle was meant as an example of the dangers of making online purchases. Apparently he was unaware that it was a hoax. "I receive many complaints about these scams every day. If this was a hoax, it sure was a funny one," Chong said.

He went on to say that he deals with online scam victims daily, and it's his priority to raise awareness about the issue and try and avoid others from falling prey to the internet predators. Chong said online scammers typically lure their unsuspecting victims by offering their products at a low price, with the items never even reaching the customers.

Lawyer Alex Kok said that dissatisfied customers who want to sue online criminals will find it difficult to do so, thanks to the dubious nature of the business. One of the biggest problems is the lack of an actual receipt or proof of purchase.

Knowing who to sue or even where and how is a big problem Kok told the Daily Mail. Another example given was of an online buyer attempting to purchase a Yamaha water scooter, (jet ski), for more than $24,000. He never received the watercraft.

Chong added that another disgruntled complainant ordered a smartphone of a reputable brand, but when the product arrived the components were not that of the brand promised. He noted that there's no way to know whether the Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia, or SIRIM, has certified many of the products people buy over the internet.

Then there was yet another account of a purchaser who bought a cooking pot over the internet which exploded only days after it was received. "The person was hospitalised and nearly died in the incident," Chong said.

All in all, the story of a man trying to make his member bigger, and getting a magnifying glass in the mail, is quite hilarious. Buyer beware!