The Police have observed a significant increase in reports of online purchase scam cases. In August 2017 alone, there were almost 250 reports, which is about a 50% increase from the previous month. The majority of these online purchase scam cases were advertised on Carousell and Facebook.
The Police would like to remind members of the public to be wary when making online purchases, especially those involving hotel room reservations, tourist attractions and concert tickets. Between 30 August and 29 September 2017, the Police have received at least 35 reports of online purchase scams cases involving USS Halloween tickets where the culprits failed to deliver the tickets after receiving payments from victims. This figure is higher than the total number of online purchase scams involving USS Halloween ticket in 2016, where about 30 cases were reported. The total amount cheated for the 35 cases in 2017 is more than $21,500, and the amounts ranged from $45 to $7,000 in a single case.
The culprits would ask the victims for advanced payments for the tickets, either as a deposit or in full, to be paid to a local bank account before agreeing to deliver the items. However, after receiving the payment, the culprits would not deliver the items and become uncontactable thereafter.
There were also cases where the culprits provided fake tickets to the victims, who would only discover that they were cheated when they were denied entry subsequently.
Members of the public are advised to adopt the following crime prevention measures:
• Purchase tickets only from authorised sellers, and take note of the terms and conditions of the ticket sale;
• If advanced payments are required, use shopping platforms that provide arrangements to only release your payment to the seller upon your receipt of the item; and
• Arrange for a physical meet-up with the seller to verify the authenticity of the tickets prior to making payment. Bear in mind that the party that you are dealing with online is a stranger.
If you wish to provide any information, please call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. If you require urgent Police assistance, please dial ‘999’.
To seek scam-related advice, you may call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg. Help spread the word and share this advisory with your family and friends to prevent them from being the next victim of scam.
Source: FB post by Singapore Police Force