Scammers tend to leverage on the popularity of new mobile phone and electronic gadget releases to cheat victims who are eager to lay their hands on such items. Between January and May 2019, the Police received at least 445 reports of e-commerce scams involving mobile phones and electronic gadgets. Items commonly involved in such cases include Apple Airpods, Nintendo Switch and Samsung phones. Victims typically fell prey to bogus offers that were advertised on e-commerce platforms and did not receive the items after payments were made.
Members of the public are advised to adopt the following crime prevention measures:
Don't be impulsive Be wary of online advertisements of mobile phones and electronic gadgets at low prices that sound too good to be true. As far as possible, purchase only from authorised sellers. If you are shopping on online platforms, read the reviews of the seller before committing to a purchase.
Don't believe Scammers may use a local bank account or provide a copy of an NRIC/driver's licence to make you believe that they are genuine sellers. Do not fall for it.
Don't give Avoid making payments or deposits in advance. If advance payments are required, use shopping platforms or arrangements that release your payment to the seller only upon receipt of the item. Alternatively, arrange to meet the seller prior to making any payment.
If you wish to provide any information related to such crimes, please call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. For urgent Police assistance, please dial '999'.
To seek scam-related advice, you may call the National Crime Prevention Council's anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg. Join the 'Let's Fight Scams' campaign at www.scamalert.sg/fightby signing up as an advocate to receive up-to-date messages and share them with your family and friends. Together, we can help stop scams and prevent our loved ones from becoming the next scam victim.
Source: Singapore Police Force