The Police have arrested a 29-year-old man for his suspected involvement in a series of e-commerce scams.
Between November 2018 and January 2019, the Police received several reports from victims who were purportedly cheated by an online seller who was selling various products (such as e-scooters, gaming peripherals and drone photography devices) listed on Carousell. After the victims made payment via bank transfers, they did not receive their purchases, and the sellers became uncontactable.
Through follow-up investigations, officers from the Commercial Affairs Department established the identity of the man and arrested him on 27 February 2019. The man is believed to be involved in at least 25 cases of e-commerce scams amounting to a total of $5,000.
The man will be charged in court on 1 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.
Source: Singapore Police Force