Singapore—Police arrested a man for his alleged involvement in an elaborate e-commerce scam on the platform Carousell.
According to a statement from the Singapore Police Force, the yet unnamed 31-year-old man reportedly cheated several victims into booking discounted hotel rooms. The man posted the advertisements for the “discounted hotel rooms” on the e-commerce platform Carousell.
However, when the victims transferred the deposit payments to the sellers’ accounts, the sellers could no longer be contacted. They had run away with the money, leaving the victims still looking for a hotel room.
The police added that the man “deceptively presented himself as a genuine business proprietor” by using other unsuspecting Carousell users to improve the publicity of the posted listings on the platform.
The man had cheated his victims of more than S$40,000 after more than 100 scamming incidents.
If found guilty of cheating, the man may face up to 10 years of jail time in addition to applicable fines.
The police warned both sellers and buyers to be extra vigilant regarding online purchases. They advised online shoppers to be cautious and critical of what they see online and provided the following reminders:
- Find out how shopping platforms safeguard your interest or can help you resolve disputes, before performing a transaction through them. Note that the party you are dealing with online is a stranger;
- Insist on cash on delivery especially if responding to online classified advertisements;
- If advance payments are required, use shopping platforms that only release your payment to the seller upon your receipt of the item;
- Note that sellers may provide a copy of an identification card or driver’s licence to gain your trust, but it may not belong to the person communicating with you online; and
- Note that scammers may use a local bank account to enhance their credibility; however, the owner of the account may not be the person communicating with you online./TISG