Last updated on June 15, 2023

Names and places mentioned herein are hypothetical.


Limashi was a school leaver and she was using a feature phone (with basic functions). As soon as she left school she wanted to buy a smart phone like her other friends. She was going through newspaper advertisements looking for phones but all the brand new phones advertised were quite expensive. She couldn’t afford it as she didn’t have that much of money.

One day her cousin brother told her that there were some Facebook pages which sold used mobile phones online and suggested a couple of pages for her. Limashi logged into her Facebook account using her brother’s computer and visited those pages. She came across one advertisement and found that the used smart phone which was advertised is comparably reasonable. She sent the vendor a message saying she wanted to buy it. The phone was priced at LKR 60,000/-.

Limashi didn’t have money to buy this but as she badly needed it, she told her mother.

Limashi : Mum, I need to buy that phone somehow
Limashi’s Mum : But I don’t have that much of money dear
Limashi : All my friends have smart phones, I’m the only one using an old phone like this.. I feel so embarrassed to move with them.. Please

Mum’s heart melted hearing this. She thought of ways to find money to give her daughter as she was always complaining about her old phone.

At last, she thought of pawning her necklace, she did so and got the required amount. However, she asked her daughter to deposit half of the money and pay the balance amount when the phone was delivered to her.

Limashi did as her mother told and deposited LKR 30,000/- to a bank account shared by the vendor.

Limashi was so excited and was counting days to get her smartphone. Days passed by, but she did not receive the ordered phone. After some days she tried to contact the vendor via FB Messenger, but she was not able to contact him at all.

Limashi was so disappointed that she told this story to her friend who asked Limashi to contact Hithawathi as she was aware about the services offered by Hithawathi.

Limashi contacted Hithawathi and the agents at Hithawathi listened to her carefully. They provided the guidance that she was looking for. Furthermore, Hithawathi explained to Limashi about online scams (frauds) and asked her to be very careful in future about these.

Precaution tips:

  • Online advertisements and online stores are not always what they claim to be, hence be mindful about them. Learn about safety tips before you purchase goods and services online.
  • Non-delivery scams are quite prevalent these days, hence you will have to take a risk when purchasing items online from less popular sites. You can opt for a “cash on delivery” service when shopping online.
  • Cybercriminal complaints that are clearly mentioned with relevant evidence (links, screenshots, etc.) can be handed over to the CID, or sent to “The Director, Criminal Investigation Department, Colombo 01” by registered post. Additionally, you have the option of emailing the same via