A 24-year-old man was arrested for his suspected involvement in a series of e-commerce scams after the Police acted upon everal reports from victims who were purportedly cheated by an online seller who was selling game consoles and mobile phones on Carousell, and renting rooms and cars on “Rent in Singapore” and Roomgo between December 2018 and March 2019.
According to the Police, when victims tried to reach the seller after payments were made via bank transfers, the seller became uncontactable.
Officers from the Commercial Affairs Department established the identity of the man through investigations and arrested him on 1 April 2019.
He is believed to be involved in at least 26 cases of e-commerce scams amounting to more than $10,000.
The man will be charged in court on 3 April 2019 with cheating, which is punishable with an imprisonment term that may extend to 10 years, and a fine.
While online shopping is convenient, the Police advised members of the public to take the following precautions:
- Bear in mind that the party you are dealing with online is a stranger. Before performing a transaction on an online shopping site, find out how the site safeguards your interest or can help you resolve disputes;
- Insist on cash on delivery especially if responding to online classified advertisements;
- If advance payments are required, use shopping platforms that provide arrangements to only release your payment to the seller upon your receipt of the item;
- Be mindful that although sellers may provide a copy of an identification card or driver’s licence to gain your trust, it may not necessarily belong to the person communicating with you online; and
- Note that scammers may use a local bank account to enhance credibility; however, the owner of the account may not be the person communicating with you online.
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam hotline at 1800-722-6688.
While 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.