The Police arrested two women and two men, between 24 and 27 February 2020, for their suspected involvement in separate e-commerce scams involving the sale of face masks and other items on Carousell.

Between January and February 2020, the Police received many reports from persons who were cheated by online sellers after they paid for face masks and other items on Carousell. The sellers became uncontactable after payments were made in advance via bank transfers.

Through investigations and working closely with Carousell, Police established the identities of four suspects and took the following actions:

a) A 29-year-old man suspected to be involved in three cases of e-commerce scams amounting to at least $55,100 was arrested on 24 February 2020. He was charged in court on 25 February 2020 with Cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code, which is punishable with an imprisonment term that may extend to 10 years and a fine.

b) A 21-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man suspected to be involved in at least 11 cases of e-commerce scams amounting to more than $5,000 were arrested on 26 February 2020. Police investigations are ongoing.

c) A 19-year-old woman suspected to be involved in five cases of e-commerce scams amounting to more than $580 was arrested on 27 February 2020. She was charged in court on 2 March 2020 with Cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code.

The Police would like to advise members of the public to be very careful when making online purchases, especially during this period:

a. Don’t Panic – Be rational when considering purchases and do not buy on impulse.

b. Don’t Believe – Scammers may use a local bank account or provide a copy of an NRIC/driver’s licence to show that they are genuine sellers. Do not fall for this!

c. Don’t Give – Avoid making payments or deposits in advance. Use shopping platforms/arrangements that release your payments to the seller only upon receipt of the item(s). Buy only from reputable websites/platforms.

For more information on scams, visit www.scamalert.sg or call the anti-scam hotline at 1800-722-6688. 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. All information will be kept strictly confidential.

The Police take a serious view of those who take advantage of the current COVID-19 situation to perpetrate crimes. From 1 January to 29 February 2020, the Police have already arrested 12 suspects (including the four suspects mentioned above) for e-commerce scams related to the sale of face masks. Eight of them have been charged in court for cheating-related offences, while Police investigations against the remaining four are ongoing. All offenders will be dealt with sternly in accordance with the law.

Source: Singapore Police Force