5 retailers in renovation industry lose $25k to bulk order scams , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

5 retailers in renovation industry lose $25k to bulk order scams

At least five victims have fallen prey to a scam targeting retailers in the renovation industry, with at least $25,000 lost in total since April 12.

In a statement on April 24, the police warned of the re-emergence of fake bulk order scams that target the renovation industry, including renovation contractors, design firms and suppliers of curtains, blinds and fabrics.

The fraudsters would pretend to be customers and contact such businesses either over the phone or through WhatsApp to purportedly place bulk orders.

They would request additional items that the businesses do not stock, or request quantities that the businesses could not fulfil on short notice.

The scammers would then recommend a “supplier” where the businesses could purchase the additional items.

To convince the victims, the scammers would provide screenshots to show they had paid for the bulk orders.

This would persuade the businesses to make upfront payment for orders placed with the “suppliers”. They would realise they had been scammed when their bank accounts did not reflect the payments that had allegedly been made.

Or it would dawn on them that they had been scammed when the “suppliers” did not deliver their orders, or when both their “customer” and “supplier” became uncontactable.

Stressing the need for the public to remain vigilant, the police recommended downloading the ScamShield app and using the Anti-Scam Helpline, among other official channels, to check for scams.

The police also advised: “Check for reviews of suppliers to establish their legitimacy before committing to a purchase.”