S'pore man, 25, to be charged for allegedly scamming $400,000 from 500 victims on Carousell

Buyers wanted to buy gaming chairs, gaming consoles, and electronic lifestyle products but got scammed.

Belmont Lay | October 19, 2021, 10:40 AM

A 25-year-old man will be charged in court for his suspected involvement in e-commerce scams.

Preliminary investigations showed the suspect is believed to have scammed more than 500 victims out of more than S$400,000.

The police said on Oct. 18 that the victims made several reports after they paid an online seller via bank transfers and PayNow for products, but did not receive the items they paid for.

The items included gaming chairs, gaming consoles, and electronic lifestyle products, which were offered at discounted prices on e-commerce platform Carousell.

Through follow-up investigations and collaborating closely with Carousell, officers from the Commercial Affairs Department were able to identify the man and arrest him.

If found guilty of cheating, he may be jailed up to 10 years and fined.

Police advice

The police said buyers have to take precautions when making online purchases.

This includes opting for buyer protection by using in-built payment options that release payment to the seller only upon delivery.

The police also warned that 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 or driver's licence to try and convince victims that they are genuine sellers.

The police said: "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."

Anyone with information on such scams may call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at this website.

For more information on scams, go to this website or call the anti-scam hotline on 1800-722-6688.

Top photo via Singapore Police Force