The Police arrested two male teenagers, aged 17 and 18, for their suspected involvement in e-commerce scams involving the sale of face masks and USS tickets on Carousell.

Between January and February 2020, the Police received multiple reports from persons who were cheated by online sellers after they had paid for their 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 the two male teenagers and subsequently arrested them on 2 and 3 March 2020. Preliminary investigations revealed that the duo are suspected to be involved in at least 50 cases of e-commerce scams amounting to more than $9,800.

The 17-year-old teenager was charged in court on 4 March 2020 with cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224. The offence carries an imprisonment term that may extend to 10 years and a fine. Police investigations against the 18-year-old teenager are ongoing.

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.

Source: Singapore Police Force