S'pore police arrest 4, aged 18 to 27, for suspected involvement in concert ticket scams

They allegedly participated in e-commerce scams which mostly involved tickets to Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Yoasobi, Joker Xue and K-pop group Enhypen.

Ruth Chai | February 09, 2024, 01:59 PM



At least 538 victims have fallen prey to concert ticket scams, with their total loses amounting to at least S$223,000, according to the police.

The police arrested four people for their suspected involvement in concert ticket scams.

One man and three woman, aged between 18 and 27, allegedly participated in e-commerce scams which mostly involved tickets to Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Yoasobi, Joker Xue and K-pop group Enhypen.

They were arrested following a joint operation conducted between Jan. 31 and Feb. 6 by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), seven Police Land Divisions, Carousell and the Government Technology Agency (GovTech).

Modus operandi

The scammers would pose as "sellers" and would post concert tickets for sale on online platforms such as Telegram, Carousell, Twitter, Facebook and Xiao Hong Shu.

Victims who expressed interest to purchase these tickets would contact the sellers on a messaging platform such as WhatsApp, Telegram or WeChat.

In some cases, sellers provided fake screenshots or videos of the tickets or the ticket purchase receipts, deceiving buyers into believing that the tickets had been purchased.

The seller would assure the victims that they would email the tickets or transfer them to the victim's Ticketmaster accounts once they received payment.

Victims would eventually realise that they had been scammed when the seller became uncontactable after payment, or delayed the delivery of the tickets.

In some cases, victims would discover that their tickets are invalid on the day itself, and were denied entry to the concert venue.

Week-long operation

During the week-long operation, officers from the CAD and the seven Police Land Divisions arrested the four persons through simultaneous island-wide operations.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the four people had facilitated the scam cases by opening new bank accounts and relinquishing them to the scammers, or by relinquishing their bank accounts or internet banking credentials in exchange for money.

Some scammers would also relinquish their Singpass credentials and mobile lines to the scammers, who would open Carousell accounts to make fake concert ticket listings.

Seven people assisting in investigations

Another seven men and four women, including a 15-year-old male teenager, are also assisting in investigations.

Most of them took on job offers on Telegram, and received money in their bank accounts to buy Razer gift cards or to facilitate the receipt and transfer of money through their bank accounts.

A 21-year-old woman was asked to change her Carousell account moniker and email address. The Carousell account was subsequently taken over by the scammers.

The 15-year-old teenager gave away his Carousell account to the scammer, who had offered to top up his Carousell wallet.

Adopt precautionary measures: police

The police advised members of the public to adopt precautionary measures such as downloading the ScamShield app and setting two-factor authentication for banks, social media and Singapass accounts.

Members of the public are also advises to set transaction limits on internet banking transactions, including PayNow.

"If the price is too good to be true, it probably is," the police said.

The following precautionary steps can be taken whenever making purchases:

  1. Purchase only from authorised sellers or reputable sources and be wary of attractive, time-sensitive deals where only limited stocks are available.
  2. Avoid making upfront payments to bank accounts belonging to unknown individuals and, whenever possible, avoid making advance payments or direct bank transfers to the seller.
  3. Always verify the seller’s profile through customer reviews and ratings.

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Top photo by Mothership reader