Beware of bak kwa online scams ahead of CNY: Police

Buying sweet-and-salty dried meats has turned into a sour experience for some consumers here, after their online orders failed to materialise.

The police have warned the public about online scams involving festive goods in the lead-up to Chinese New Year.

There have been scams involving the sale of "Hock Moon Hiong" bak kwa detected here, police said on Thursday.

Scammers would post advertisements on Facebook, claiming to sell the bak kwa in Singapore. The victims were required to place orders via Facebook and make full payment through PayNow or bank transfer.

"The victims only discovered that they had been scammed when they did not receive the bak kwa and realised that the seller had become uncontactable," said the police.

Hock Moon Hiong is a dried meat distributor based in Malaysia and has no physical outlets in Singapore. Its official website states that all products are already out of stock, even though customers can still buy its bak kwa at physical outlets.

The police urged members of the public to take precautionary measures when shopping online. These include buying only from authorised and reputable sellers, checking existing customer reviews and ratings to verify sellers' profiles, and insisting on cash on delivery when purchasing from online classified advertisements.

Only meat products from approved sources can be imported or brought into Singapore, police added.

Members of the public should report any information regarding possible scams by calling the police hotline on 1800-255-0000, or submitting information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness

To learn more about scams, the public can visit www.scamalert.sg, or call the anti-scam hotline on 1800-722-6688.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 06, 2021, with the headline 'Beware of bak kwa online scams ahead of CNY: Police'. Subscribe