At least 15 victims lost more than $12,000 in May to scammers posing as Carousell buyers

The ruse sees scammers requesting to pay the sellers via CarouPay to the victims' PayNow accounts. PHOTOS: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - At least 15 victims have lost more than $12,000 in total this month to scammers posing as buyers on e-commerce platform Carousell.

The ruse sees scammers express interest in buying items and then request to pay the sellers via CarouPay to the victims' PayNow accounts, said the police on Saturday (May 14).

The victims then receive an e-mail purportedly sent from Carousell indicating that payment has been made.

The e-mail will instruct the victims to access their bank accounts via a phishing link or phishing PayNow QR (Quick Response) code provided within the e-mail to receive payment.

Upon clicking these links or scanning the QR codes, victims were redirected to fraudulent websites impersonating bank websites, and be tricked into providing their banking details and one-time passwords (OTPs) to receive payment.

They would realise they had been scammed only after noticing unauthorised transactions in their bank accounts, police said.

The police added that CarouPay, now known as Carousell Protection, will never require sellers to confirm payment via e-mail or require them to reveal any online banking login credentials through third-party websites.

Those on e-commerce sites, such as Carousell, and online marketplaces should always verify the buyer's profile by checking the account verification status, creation date, reviews and ratings, the police said.

They should not click on links provided in unsolicited e-mails and text messages, and when redirected to what appears to be a bank website, should check that the address is the bank's known website address before entering any information.

They should always verify the authenticity of the information with the platform or banks if they are in doubt.

Police said members of the public should also not disclose personal or Internet banking details and OTPs to anyone, and fraudulent transactions should be reported to the banks immediately.

For more information on scams, visit Scam Alert website or call the Anti-Scam Hotline on 1800-722-6688.

Anyone with information on such scams may call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit information online.

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