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Woman arrested for series of e-commerce scams

A 27-year-old woman was arrested for her suspected involvement in a series of e-commerce scams.

The Police said in a press release on Monday (29 April) that it received several reports from victims who were purportedly cheated by an online seller who was selling Universal Studio Singapore tickets on Carousell between 5 and 9 January 2018.

However, after payments were made by the victims via bank transfers, the seller became uncontactable.

Officers from Central Police Division established the identity of the woman and arrested on 24 April 2019 through follow-up investigations.

Preliminary investigations revealed that she is believed to be involved in at least 12 cases of e-commerce scams amounting to more than $2,300.

Investigations are ongoing.

Any person found guilty of cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, shall be punished with an imprisonment term which may extend up to 10 years, and shall also be liable to 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.