The Police have arrested a 21-year-old man for his suspected involvement in a series of e-commerce scams.
Between December 2018 and January 2019, the Police received several reports from victims who were cheated by an online seller who was selling GrabPay credits at a discounted price on Carousell and Instagram. After the victims made payment via bank transfers, they did not receive the said credits, and the seller became uncontactable.
Through follow-up investigations, officers from the Commercial Affairs Department established the identity of the man and arrested him on 5 March 2019. The man is believed to be involved in at least 10 cases of such scams and cheated at least $4,360.
The man will be charged in court on 7 March 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 would like to advise 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. 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