E-commerce scams

445 cases involving gadgets in five months

At least 445 reports of e-commerce scams involving mobile phones and other electronic gadgets were received by the police in the first five months of this year.

The police said in a statement on Wednesday that common items included Apple AirPods earphones, Nintendo Switch gaming consoles and Samsung phones.

"Scammers tend to leverage on the popularity of new mobile phone and electronic gadget releases to cheat victims who are eager to lay their hands on such items," said the statement.

Bogus offers for such items were typically advertised on e-commerce platforms, and victims would not receive the items after paying for them.

The police warned members of the public to be wary of such advertisements, especially if they suggest low prices that sound too good to be true.

"As far as possible, purchase only from authorised sellers. If you are shopping on online platforms, read the reviews of the seller before committing to a purchase," it said.

It also advised against making payments or deposits in advance.


Instead, customers should try to meet the seller before paying or use platforms that release payment to the seller only after the item is received.

To provide information on such crimes, call 1800-255-0000 or go to www.police.gov.sg/iwitness

Those who need urgent police assistance should call 999.

More information on scams can be found at www.scamalert.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2019, with the headline '445 cases involving gadgets in five months'. Subscribe