Two teenagers have been arrested for allegedly cheating victims of more than $9,800 in e-commerce scams involving the sale of face masks and Universal Studios Singapore (USS) tickets on online marketplace Carousell.
The boys, aged 17 and 18, were arrested on March 2 and 3, the police said in a statement on Saturday (March 14).
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 paying in advance via bank transfers.
Preliminary investigations showed the duo are suspected to be involved in at least 50 cases of e-commerce scams.
The 17-year-old teenager 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 teenager 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 Covid-19 situation to perpetrate crimes.
Shoppers should also be rational when considering purchases and not buy items on impulse, police said, noting that scammers might 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 shopping platforms and arrangements that release their payments to the seller only upon receipt of the items and buy only from reputable websites and platforms.
For more information on scams, visit the anti-scam website or call the hotline on 1800-722-6688.
To provide information on scams, call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. Police said all information will be kept strictly confidential.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.