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A 25-year-old man was charged in court on Tuesday (Oct 19) for his suspected involvement in a series of e-commerce scams involving the sale of gaming chairs, gaming consoles and electronic lifestyle products.
In October 2021, the police received several reports from victims who were purportedly cheated by an online seller who offered the lifestyle products at a discounted price on e-commerce platform Carousell.
After payments were made by the victims via bank transfers and PayNow, they allegedly failed to receive their purchases.
Through follow-up investigations and close collaboration with Carousell, officers from the Commercial Affairs Department established the identity of the man and arrested him.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the man is believed to have scammed more than 500 victims of more than S$400,000.
He was charged in court on Tuesday with cheating, which is punishable with a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine.
The police said they take a serious view of those who may be involved in scams and frauds, and perpetrators will be dealt with in accordance with the law.
Members of the public are advised to take the following precautions when making online purchases:
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.
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 or driver’s licence to make you believe that they are genuine sellers. Do not fall for it!
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.
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit scamalert.sg 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 www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.