The Police had received at least 11 reports on a new type of e-commerce scams involving the sale of face masks where the victims of these scams were asked to make payment in advance via bank transfers and then directed to collect face masks from various clinics. The victims only realised that they were scammed after they went to the clinics and were informed that there were no such arrangements. Investigations are ongoing.

The Police continue to work closely with relevant stakeholders, such as Carousell, to investigate cases, remove suspicious advertisements and disseminate scam advisories to raise awareness against e-commerce scams.

The Police would like to advise members of the public on the following 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 make you believe 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, members of the public can 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. All offenders will be dealt with sternly in accordance with the law.

Source: Singapore Police Force