E-commerce scams: Second suspect arrested

A 19-year-old Malaysian has been arrested for his suspected involvement in a series of e-commerce scams on online retail platform Carousell.

The police said in a statement yesterday that between May and June this year, they received multiple reports from victims who were allegedly cheated by several online "sellers".

These "sellers" claimed to be selling Universal Studios Singapore e-tickets and Bruno Mars concert tickets. After the victims paid for the tickets via bank transfers, the "sellers" became uncontactable.

The Straits Times understands that the various accounts were allegedly created by just two teens - the 19-year-old Malaysian and a Singaporean, also 19, who was arrested last Wednesday in Havelock Road.

Through investigations, officers from the Commercial Affairs Department established the identity of the Malaysian suspect and arrested him on Tuesday in Kallang Road. The authorities also seized a laptop, a tablet and four mobile phones .

Preliminary investigations showed that the two suspects are believed to have been involved in at least 60 cases of e-commerce scams.

The Malaysian teen is expected to be charged today with abetment to cheating. If found guilty, he could be jailed for up to 10 years and could also be fined. The Singaporean teen has already been charged with cheating.

According to the police, there were at least 120 reports of online purchase scams that involved concert tickets last year.

  • >120

  • Number of reports of online purchase scams that involved concert tickets last year, said the police.

On Aug 10 this year, The New Paper reported that a scammer had cheated several fans of home-grown Mandopop singer JJ Lin of at least $2,000 in total.

The police advised members of the public to take precautions when shopping online.

 
 

For instance, shoppers should insist on the "cash on delivery" mode, especially if responding to online classified advertisements. And if advance payments are required, they should use shopping platforms that provide arrangements to release their payment to the seller only upon receipt of the item.

For more information on scams, the public can visit 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 November 15, 2018, with the headline 'E-commerce scams: Second suspect arrested'. Print Edition | Subscribe