About 25 scammed into getting loans when buying phones online

People who suspect they have received an unknown sum in their account should report it immediately to the bank and the police, and not make transactions with the money.
People who suspect they have received an unknown sum in their account should report it immediately to the bank and the police, and not make transactions with the money.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

A scam that tricks people into taking out loans when buying a mobile phone on e-commerce platforms has ensnared about 25 people since November.

In some cases, victims were duped into providing their personal information, such as NRIC number, or SingPass or bank account details, on the pretext of applying for an instalment plan package for their phone purchase, said the police yesterday.

They later found a sum deposited into their bank account, with the scammers demanding that they pay the "loan amount" back with interest.

In other instances, victims were offered loans to buy mobile phones. Some would then receive a sum in their bank account, even if they had not agreed to the loan offer. They were later asked to make repayments.

The police issued an advisory on the scam yesterday, urging the public not to give their personal information to strangers or unverified sources and not to provide information that is unnecessary when making a purchase.

People who suspect they have received an unknown sum in their account should report it immediately to the bank and the police, and not make transactions with the money.

FRAUD ALERT

Be wary that fraud artists can appear and disappear, especially on e-commerce platforms, so the lack of a complaint record is no guarantee of legitimacy.

THE POLICE, on advising the public to check the track record of a company.

The police also advised the public to check the track record and background of a company or seller before making a purchase.

"Be wary that fraud artists can appear and disappear, especially on e-commerce platforms, so the lack of a complaint record is no guarantee of legitimacy," said the police.

Those with information on scams can call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit the details online at www.police. gov.sg/iwitness

 
 

The public can also call the National Crime Prevention Council's X Ah Long hotline on 1800-924-5664 for information about unlicensed moneylenders.

For anti-scam advice, they can call the National Crime Prevention Council's helpline on 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scam alert.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2019, with the headline 'About 25 scammed into getting loans when buying phones online'. Print Edition | Subscribe