Man, 23, advertised iPhones for sale on Carousell but didn't deliver them after getting paid

A 23-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly advertising iPhones for sale online and failing to deliver them after receiving payment from buyers.

The police said that between March 2023 and May 2023, they received several reports from victims about being purportedly cheated by an online seller who had allegedly advertised the sale of Apple iPhones on Carousell. The man allegedly received deposits from the victims via PayNow, but failed to deliver the items.

Through follow-up investigations, officers from Ang Mo Kio Division established the man's identity and arrested him on Wednesday (June 14).

The police added: "Preliminary investigations reveal that the man is believed to be involved in five similar cases involving losses of about $3,580.

"It was also revealed that he had intentionally relinquished his other bank accounts to a syndicate that was involved in a friend impersonation scam involving losses of about S$24,790."

The man will be charged in court on Friday with cheating, which carries a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine.

He may also be liable for the offence of unauthorised access to computer material, which carries jail term of up to two years and/or a fine of up to $5,000, and the offence of abetment to cheating, which carries a jail term of up to three years and/or a fine.

Members of the public are advised to take the following precautions when making online purchases:

  • If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Purchase only from authorised sellers or reputable sources, especially for high-value items.

  • Opt for buyer protection by using in-built payment options that release payment to the seller only upon delivery. Whenever possible, avoid making advance payments or direct bank transfers to the seller as this method does not offer any protection.

  • Scammers may entice buyers to contact them directly through messaging platforms such as WhatsApp or WeChat by offering a better or faster deal if bank transfer payments are made directly to them. They may also use a local bank account or provide a copy of a NRIC/driver’s license to make you believe that they are genuine sellers. Do not fall for it!

For more information on scams, members of the public can visit 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