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One man and three women, aged between 18 and 27, were arrested for their suspected involvement in a recent spate of e-commerce scams involving the sale of concert tickets.
These included fake tickets to the shows of Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Yoasobi, Joker Xue, and Enhypen.
Since January this year, at least 583 victims have fallen prey to these scams, with total losses amounting to more than $223,000, the police said in a statement.
The four people were arrested following a joint operation by the police, Carousell and the Government Technology Agency between Jan 31 and Feb 6.
The four allegedly facilitated the scams by handing over their Singpass credentials or bank account details to scammers in exchange for money.
The scammers then used the Singpass credentials to open new bank accounts and mobile phone lines.
These lines and credentials were then used to open Carousell accounts to make fake concert listings.
Scammers also pretended to be sellers posting concert tickets for sale on other online platforms such as Telegram, Twitter, Facebook, and Xiao Hong Shu.
Victims who expressed interest in purchasing the tickets were redirected to contact the sellers via WhatsApp, Telegram or WeChat.
In some cases, the sellers provided fake screenshots or videos of the tickets and/or the ticket purchase receipts.
They would then promise to email the tickets or transfer tickets to the victims' Ticketmaster accounts once the payment was successful.
Victims realised they had been scammed when the sellers asked for additional payments, delayed delivery of tickets, became uncontactable, or when the tickets were found to be invalid on the concert day.
Another 11 people, including a 15-year-old boy, are assisting in investigations.
Preliminary investigations revealed that they had 'unwittingly facilitated the scams through several ways'.
Most of them took on job offers on Telegram to receive money in their bank accounts to buy Razer gift cards or to facilitate the receipt and transfer of money through their bank accounts.
A 21-year-old woman was asked to change her Carousell account moniker and email address and later, the account was found to be taken over by scammers.
The 15-year-old boy gave away his Carousell account to the scammer who had offered to top up his Carousell wallet.
The police advise members of the public to adopt the following precautionary measures:
ADD - ScamShield App and set security features (e.g., enable two-factor (2FA) or multifactor authentication for banks, social media, Singpass accounts; set transaction limits on internet banking transactions, including PayNow.
CHECK - for scam signs with official sources (e.g., visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688). If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Purchase only from authorised sellers or reputable sources and be wary of attractive, time-sensitive deals where only limited stocks are available. Avoid making upfront payments to bank accounts belonging to unknown individuals and, whenever possible, avoid making advance payments or direct bank transfers to the seller. Always verify the seller’s profile through customer reviews and ratings.
TELL - authorities, family, and friends about this scam so they do not fall for it. Report the fraudulent pages to the social media sites.
If you have information relating to such crimes or if you are in doubt, call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Helpline at 1800-722-6688.