$223,000 lost to scams involving concert tickets, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

$223,000 lost to scams involving concert tickets

At least 583 victims have lost $223,000 in e-commerce scams involving concert tickets since the start of 2024, the police said in a media statement on Feb 8.

Among them are victims of scams facilitated by a man and three women, aged 18 and 27, who were arrested during a joint operation by the Commercial Affairs Department, seven Police Land Divisions, Carousell and the Government Technology Agency that was conducted between Jan 31 and Feb 6.

The four were nabbed for their suspected involvement in these scams, which mostly involved tickets to Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Yoasobi, Joker Xue, and Enhypen concerts.

The police said preliminary investigations showed that the four had allegedly facilitated scam cases by opening new bank accounts and giving them to scammers, or relinquishing their Singpass credentials and bank accounts or Internet banking credentials, for profit.

These Singpass credentials were misused by scammers to open new bank accounts and mobile lines, police said. The Singpass credentials and mobile lines were then further exploited by scammers to open Carousell accounts to post fake concert tickets listings.

Generally, in cases of e-commerce scams involving concert tickets, scammers would pretend to be sellers and post about concert tickets for sale on online platforms such as Telegram, Carousell, Twitter, Facebook and Xiaohongshu, the police said.

Victims who express an interest to buy tickets would be asked to contact sellers on messaging platforms WhatsApp, Telegram or WeChat.

Some scammers would then provide fake screenshots or videos of the tickets or ticket purchase receipts. They would promise to e-mail the tickets or transfer tickets to the victims’ Ticketmaster accounts after payments were made.

Victims would realise they had been scammed when sellers asked for additional payments, delayed the delivery of tickets, became uncontactable, or when the tickets were found to be invalid on the day of the concert.

The police said that in addition to the four who were arrested, another seven men and four women are also assisting in investigations of other e-commerce scams.

Preliminary investigations showed that in these cases, these subjects had unwittingly facilitated the scams in several ways.

Most took on job offers on Telegram to receive money in their bank accounts to buy Razer gift cards, or to receive and transfer money through their bank accounts, police said.

One of the 11 being probed is a 21-year-old woman who was asked to change her Carousell account moniker and email address. The account was later found to have been taken over by scammers.

Another is a 15-year-old male who gave his Carousell account to a scammer who had offered to top up his Carousell wallet.

The police advised the public to download the ScamShield application on their mobile devices. They should also enable security features such as two-factor authentication, or multi-factor authentication for banks, social media and Singpass accounts, as well as transaction limits for Internet banking transactions.

“If the price is too good to be true, it probably is,” the police said.

The police urged the public to make purchases only from authorised sellers or reputable sources, and be wary of attractive, time-sensitive deals. They should also check the seller’s customer reviews and ratings.