Police warn of e-commerce scams during Great Singapore Sale

The police have issued an advisory reminding the public to be vigilant when shopping online especially as the Great Singapore Sale (GSS), which began on June 6, has moved towards online platforms.

There is a trend where scammers purportedly send unsolicited spoofed messages through e-commerce platforms, that offer job opportunities to help merchants boost sales on the platforms during GSS.

In these cases, victims would come across fake or spoofed messages sent through the e-commerce platforms offering a part-time job with a daily salary of between $100 and $500.

The message would also include a phone number as a point of contact to sign-up for the job.

When victims contacted the number provided, the scammer would explain that the job required the victim to help e-commerce platform merchants improve their sales by making advance purchases.

The scammer would assure the victims that their money would eventually be refunded, and a 10 per cent commission would be paid to the victims.

The scammers would then provide an e-commerce platform item link to the victims and instruct them to provide a screenshot of the item in their shopping cart.

Thereafter, the victims would be instructed to make payment for the item by transferring the money to a bank account number provided by the scammer.

This process would be repeated several times, beginning with cheaper items before progressing to more expensive items.

The scammers would initially refund the victims the cost of the item and the commission but would later claim to have encountered issues with the refund and would stop paying the victims for the more expensive items.

Victims would realise that they had been scammed when the scammer stopped the refunds and become uncontactable.

The police would like to advise members of the public to adopt the following precautionary measures:

  • Be sceptical of incredulous promises and deals that are simply too good to be true;

  • Check with the relevant e-commerce platforms before accepting any job purportedly offered by the platforms;

  • Transact safely on these e-commerce platforms by using the in-platform secured payment systems or opt for cash-on-delivery. Never make bank transfers to unknown bank accounts provided.

If you have information related to such crimes or if you are in doubt, please call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. Please dial ‘999’ if you require urgent police assistance.

For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688.