The Police said in a media release earlier today that since November 2016, they have received at least 23 reports where victims were tricked into paying for ZoukOut tickets to scammers on online marketplaces. The total amount cheated is at least $3400.
In most cases, scammers posed as online sellers and would ask victims for advanced payments for the ticket – either as a deposit or in full — to be transferred to a local bank account before agreeing to deliver the items. However, despite receiving the payment, these scammers do not deliver the items and usually become uncontactable thereafter.
From January to September 2016, a total of 1,491 cases of online purchase scams were reported. The Police have observed that most of the victims had used online community marketplaces such as Carousell, Craigslist, Gumtree and Facebook for their online transactions.
The Police acknowledged that online shopping is convenient, but advised members of the public to buy tickets from official sources and to take the following precautions when shopping online:
- Bear in mind that the party you are dealing with online is a stranger. Before performing a transaction, find out how the online site safeguards your interest or can help you resolve disputes;
- Whenever possible, pay only on delivery.
- If advanced payments are required, use shopping platforms that provide arrangements to only release your payment to the seller upon your receipt of the item; and
- Be mindful that although scammers 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.