Teen who offered cheap car rentals on Carousell and went MIA after payment arrested

A 17-year-old teenager who allegedly offered lucrative car rental prices online and became uncontactable after receiving payment has been arrested.

The police received a report on April 12 from a victim who informed that he had been purportedly cheated by an online seller after responding to a car rental advertisement on Carousell.

"The seller allegedly offered the victim a lucrative price for the rental of a car," police added.

"After deposits were transferred by the victim through PayNow to the bank account provided by the seller, the seller purportedly did not deliver on the car rental services and became uncontactable."

Following investigations, officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division established the identity of the male teenager and arrested him on May 19.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the male teenager is believed to be involved in several other similar cases of scams.

Investigations are ongoing.

The offence of cheating is punishable with a jail term that may extend to ten years and a fine.

The police also advised members of the public to take the following precautions when making online purchases:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 licence to make you believe that they are genuine sellers. Do not fall for it!

For more information on scams, 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.

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