At least 132 Facebook and Carousell sellers lost more than $300,000 to fake buyers this month

At least 132 online sellers lost a total of at least $314,000 to fake buyer phishing scams on Carousell and Facebook in December.

The scammers would pose as buyers and approach the sellers via in-app messages on Carousell or Facebook, expressing interest in the items that the sellers had listed on the platforms.

After agreeing to the sale of the items, the sellers would receive a malicious URL link or QR code via email, in-app messaging or over WhatsApp on the pretext of receiving payment for the item or to pay for courier services such as Lalamove to facilitate delivery of the item.

Upon clicking on the links or scanning the QR codes, the sellers would be redirected to a spoofed website to provide their Internet banking login credentials, credit card details and/or one-time password (OTP).

The sellers realised that they had been scammed when they discovered unauthorised transactions made from their bank accounts or cards.

To protect yourself from scams. you are advised to adopt the following precautionary measures:

ADD – ScamShield App and set security features such as multifactor authentication for banks and set transaction limits on Internet banking transactions, including PayNow and PayLah. Never disclose your personal or internet banking details and OTP to anyone.

CHECK – For scam signs and with official sources such as or the Anti-Scam Helpline at 1800-722-6688. Do not click on dubious URL links and always verify the authenticity of URL links. If in doubt, always verify the authenticity of the information with the e-commerce platform directly.

TELL – Authorities, family, and friends about scams. Report any fraudulent transactions to your bank immediately and report any suspicious user and fraudulent transaction from the online marketplace to the e-commerce platform.

If you have any information relating to such crimes or if you are in doubt, please call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at All information will be kept strictly confidential. If you require urgent police assistance, please dial 999.