The Police have arrested a 32-year-old man and a 62-year-old woman for their suspected involvement in a series of e-commerce scams involving the sales of tickets for Universal Studios Singapore (USS), concerts and events.
Between January and May 2020, the Police received several reports from victims who were purportedly cheated by different online sellers advertising tickets for USS, concerts and events on Carousell and Facebook. The sellers became uncontactable after payments were made.
Through investigations, officers from the Commercial Affairs Department established the identities of the man and woman and arrested them on 16 June 2020. Preliminary investigations revealed they are mother and son, and are believed to be involved in at least 450 cases of e-commerce scams amounting to more than S$110,000.
The man will be charged in court on 18 June 2020 with cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code which is punishable with an imprisonment term that may extend to 10 years, and a fine. The woman is assisting with the investigations.
The Police take a serious view of persons who are involved in scams and offenders will be dealt with severely in accordance with the law. The Police would like to advise members of the public to take the following precautions when shopping online:
- a) 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.
- b) 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!
- c) 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.
For more information on scams, members of the public can 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.
Source: Singapore Police Force