Between June and November 2018, the Police received multiple reports from victims who were purportedly cheated by several online sellers who were renting out motor vehicles on Carousell. After payments were made by the victims via bank transfers, the sellers became uncontactable.
Through investigations, officers from the Commercial Affairs Department established the identity of the man and arrested him on 3 December 2018. Preliminary investigations revealed that the man is believed to be involved in more than 30 cases of e-commerce scams.
The man will be charged in court on 5 December 2018 with cheating which is punishable with an imprisonment term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to a fine.
While online shopping is convenient, the Police would like to advise members of the public to take the following precautions when shopping online:
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. 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.
Source: Singapore Police Force