SINGAPORE - All they wanted was to get their hands on a bottle of the coveted "shampoo bottle" Taiwanese milk tea, but some fans of the Chun Chui He drink - which was sold out the moment it hit the shelves in July - found themselves being scammed instead.
According to the police, several people have fallen prey to sham listings posted on Carousell since June this year. A 19-year-old suspect, who has since been nabbed, had allegedly also listed tickets to Universal Studios Singapore on the e-market app.
He is accused of convincing at least 11 victims into transferring money to him for the items. Victims told the police that the seller became uncontactable after the money was transferred.
Anyone found guilty of the offence of cheating may be jailed for up to 10 years, and can also be fined.
To prevent yourself from becoming a victim of such scams, you should:
- Make online purchases only from reputable vendors;
- If advanced payments are necessary, only transact with people you know and trust;
- Check that the person or company you are buying from is physically located where they claim to be;
- Check the company or seller's track record. Make enquiries with the clients and customers about the service they received from the seller;
- Never give your bank account numbers, credit card numbers and personal information to anyone you do not know or have not checked out;
- Do not provide any information that is not necessary to make the purchase; and
- Be mindful that scammers may use a local bank account for the transaction to enhance their credibility. The owner of the bank account may not be the person communicating with you online.