The Police have arrested a 27-year-old man for his suspected involvement in a series of e-commerce scams involving the sale of Marina Bay Sands hotel packages.
In January 2021, the Police received several reports from victims who were purportedly cheated by an online seller who had advertised Marina Bay Sands hotel packages at discounted prices on Carousell. After the victims made payments via bank transfers and PayNow/Paylah, the seller allegedly became uncontactable.
Through investigations, officers from the Commercial Affairs Department established the identity of the man and arrested him on 21 January 2021. Preliminary investigations revealed that the man is allegedly involved in at least eight cases of e-commerce scams amounting to more than S$360,000.
The man will be charged in court on 22 January 2021 with cheating. The offence of cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code carries an imprisonment term that may extend to 10 years, and a fine.
The Police take a serious view of persons who may be involved in scams and frauds, and perpetrators will be dealt with in accordance with the law. The Police would like to advise members of the public to take the following precautions when making online purchases:
- 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.
- 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!
- 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