Police arrest 19-year-old suspected of cheating victims who made online purchases

The police have arrested a 19-year-old teenager for his suspected involvement in several online cheating cases involving discounted tickets to Universal Studios Singapore.
The police have arrested a 19-year-old teenager for his suspected involvement in several online cheating cases involving discounted tickets to Universal Studios Singapore. PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - The police have arrested a 19-year-old teenager for his suspected involvement in several online cheating cases.

Police said on Monday (June 20) that since June 14, it had received several reports on victims being cheated after making online purchases via a mobile marketplace application.

The victims transferred money to an unknown seller's bank account either as deposits or payments for discounted tickets to Universal Studios Singapore. However, they did not receive the tickets after that.

Police officers from Central Division later conducted extensive investigations to establish the identity of the suspect and arrested him along New Bridge Road on Monday.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspect is likely involved in more than nine similar cases.

The suspect is currently being investigated.

Anyone found guilty of cheating under the Penal Code may be jailed for up to 10 years and could be fined.

The police also advised the public to make online purchases only from reputable vendors and transact only with people that they know and trust if advanced payments are necessary.

Consumers should also check that the person or company they are buying from is physically located where they claim to be, and they should check the company's or seller's track record and make enquiries with its clients about the service received.

The public is also advised never to give bank account numbers, credit card numbers and personal information to anyone they do not know or have not checked. They should not provide any information that is not necessary to make the purchase.

The make them appear more credible, scammers may use a local bank account for the transaction, so consumers should be mindful about this, the police said. The owner of the bank account may not be the person communicating with consumers online.