The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has arrested a 45-year-old man for his suspected involvement in a series of cheating cases of “Hot Toys” Iron Man figurines which were sold online.
The Police said that it received multiple reports since 4 October 2015 of victims who were allegedly cheated after placing orders for the figurines. The victims failed to receive their goods after transferring the deposits to the suspect’s bank account.
When the victims asked for refund, he turned evasive and became uncontactable thereafter.
The Police said that officers from Central Division carried out extensive investigations and established the identity of the suspect upon receipt of the reports. Further investigations revealed that the suspect had committed more than 40 counts of cheating involving 19 victims.
The suspect will be charged in court with the offence of cheating on Thursday (20 October). If convicted of Cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, he may be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to fine.
The Police advised members of the public to adopt the following measures to avoid falling victim to online purchase scams:
- Make your online purchases only from reputable vendors;
- If advanced payments are necessary, only transact with people you know and trust;
- Check that the person or company you are buying from is physically located where they claim to be;
- Check the company or seller’s track record. Make enquiries with the clients and customers about the service they received from the seller;
- Never give your bank account numbers, credit card numbers and personal information to anyone you do not know or have not checked out;
- Do not provide any information that is not necessary to make the purchase; andBe mindful that scammers may use a local bank account for the transaction to enhance their credibility. The owner of the bank account may not be the person communicating with you online.