The Police have arrested a 19-year-old man for his suspected involvement in several cases of online purchase scams involving at least 11 victims.

Since 14 June 2016, the Police received several reports from victims who were purportedly cheated by a seller after making online purchases. The victims were informed of the sales of Universal Studio Singapore tickets or Chun Cui He Milk Tea after they have expressed interest in making purchases via Carousell. They then transferred payment to a bank account upon request but the suspect went uncontactable thereafter.

Officers from Central Division conducted extensive investigations to establish the identity of the suspect and arrested him on 5 December 2016.

Investigations against the suspect are ongoing. Anyone found guilty of the offence of Cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, may be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Members of the public are advised to adopt the following measures to avoid falling victim to online purchase scams:

Make your online purchases only from reputable vendors;

If advanced payments are necessary, only transact with people you know and trust;

Check that the person or company you are buying from is physically located where they claim to be;

Check the company or seller's track record. Make enquiries with the clients and customers about the service they received from the seller;

Never give your bank account numbers, credit card numbers and personal information to anyone you do not know or have not checked out;

Do not provide any information that is not necessary to make the purchase; and

Be mindful that scammers may use a local bank account for the transaction to enhance their credibility. The owner of the bank account may not be the person communicating with you online.