The Singapore Police Force (SPF) issued a warning on its Facebook page on Tuesday (20 September) about an increase in the number of scam cases involving online transactions.
The SPF said that in most cases, scammers posed as online sellers and would ask victims for advanced payments for products such as admission tickets to local attractions, concert tickets and the latest mobile phones. The money is to be transferred to a local bank account before the sellers agree to deliver the items. The scammers might ask for a deposit or for the payment in full.
These scammers do not deliver the items and usually become uncontactable after the payment has been made. There were also cases where the scammers provided fake tickets to the victims, who would only discover they were cheated when they were denied entry at the event venue.
The police stated that a total of 1,145 cases of cheating involving e-commerce were reported from January to June 2016. This represents an increase of 13.4% compared to the same period last year. Approximately seven out of 10 reports were made by victims who had used online community marketplaces such as Carousell, Gumtree and Facebook for their online transactions.
Anyone with information on such scams may call the police hotline at 1800-255 0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. For urgent assistance, please call ‘999’.
While online shopping is convenient, the police would like to advise members of the public to take the following precautions when make purchases online.