Teens arrested over e-commerce scams involving face masks, USS tickets
Two teenagers have been arrested for allegedly cheating victims of more than $9,800 in e-commerce scams involving face masks and Universal Studios Singapore tickets on online marketplace Carousell.
They were arrested on March 2 and 3, the police said in a statement on Saturday.
Between January and February this year, the police received multiple reports from people who were cheated by online sellers after they had paid for their items on Carousell. The customers could not contact the sellers after making payment in advance through bank transfers.
Preliminary investigations showed that the duo are suspected to be involved in at least 50 cases of e-commerce scams.
The 17-year-old was charged in court on March 4 with cheating, which carries a fine and jail term of up to 10 years.
Police investigations against the 18-year-old are ongoing.
The police advised members of the public to be careful when making online purchases, adding that they take a serious view of those who take advantage of the current coronavirus situation to perpetrate crimes.
Shoppers should be rational and not buy items on impulse, the police said, noting scammers may use a local bank account or provide a copy of an NRIC or driver's licence to seem genuine.
Members of the public should not fall for this and should also avoid making payments or deposits in advance. They should use platforms and arrangements that release their payments to the seller only upon receipt of items, and buy only from reputable platforms.
For more information, visit the anti-scam website at www.scamalert.sg or call the anti-scam helpline on 1800-722-6688. To provide information, call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness - PRISCA ANG