Singapore

Woman jailed, fined for cheating 23 people in Carousell mask scam

This article is more than 12 months old

A radiologist cheated 23 people of nearly $1,500 after duping them into believing that she had face masks to sell amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Eunice Anico Liwanag, 24, was yesterday sentenced to eight weeks' jail and a fine of $3,000.

The Singapore permanent resident pleaded guilty to one count of lodging a false police report and three cheating charges involving three people who transferred a total of $405.

Twenty other cheating charges linked to the remaining amount were considered for sentencing. She committed the offences between Jan 28 and Feb 1.

CHAT NOTIFICATION

On Jan 30, she received a chat notification from one of her victims, Mr Liew Chen Wee, 39, through her account on online marketplace Carousell, asking if she had face masks for sale.

Liwanag lied to the Malaysian man that she had some available despite having none.

He ordered six boxes of face masks worth $150 and transferred the money to her bank account, but he did not receive the goods as promised.

Liwanag used a similar method to cheat the other victims, the court heard.

In an attempt to cover her tracks, she made an electronic police report on Feb 1 that she had detected "unusual money transfers" in her bank account.

When Assistant Superintendent Wilfred Lam Wei Lun contacted her, she claimed that she had provided her account number only for online shopping.

On Tuesday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Matthew Choo said Liwanag had lied to the police so that officers would not suspect that she was a scammer on Carousell.

He told District Judge Prem Raj: "The accused had one Carousell account but had changed her user name thrice to avoid detection."

Before handing down the sentence, the judge said Livanag had exploited her victims who wanted face masks during the Covid-19 outbreak.

He noted that she had been "gainfully employed" when she duped her victims. She has since made full restitution to them.

For each count of cheating, she could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined. - THE STRAITS TIMES

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