Man allegedly used foreign credit card details to cheat

At a press conference yesterday, police said preliminary investigations showed that John Foo Chi Yang had bought more than $19,000 worth of products online using fraudulently obtained credit card details, including formulated milk powder, diapers and
At a press conference yesterday, police said preliminary investigations showed that John Foo Chi Yang had bought more than $19,000 worth of products online using fraudulently obtained credit card details, including formulated milk powder, diapers and tonic wine.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

He purportedly ordered formulated milk powder via online service provider

A 26-year-old Singaporean man was hauled to court yesterday after he allegedly used details of a foreign credit card to cheat.

John Foo Chi Yang, who was charged with one count of cheating, is accused of committing the offence on Oct 15.

Through an online concierge and delivery service provider, which was not named in court documents, he purportedly used a State Bank of India Visa credit card to order three tins of formulated milk powder worth $320.64 in all.

He allegedly duped the vendor, which was also not named in court papers, into delivering the products to him.

In a press conference yesterday, the police said preliminary investigations revealed that Foo made fraudulent credit card transactions using more than 15 cards' details he had obtained illegally online.

According to the police, he bought more than $19,000 worth of products online over two months. They include formulated milk powder, diapers and tonic wines.

Superintendent K. Vasanthan, head of investigation at Bedok Police Division, told reporters that Foo, who was arrested on Thursday, would collect the purchases while wearing a surgical face mask.

He was believed to have targeted the "highly marketable products" to resell for profit, added the police.

The case came to light when officers received a report from a 40-year-old woman who found multiple fraudulent purchases from an online concierge and delivery service provider on her credit card.

Such online service providers may include the likes of RedMart and Honestbee, among others.

Upon checking with the service provider, more than 50 fraudulent credit card transactions for products worth more than $19,000 were detected, said the police.

"Online scams continue to be a concern in Singapore, and although investigations are still ongoing, this could possibly be one of the more egregious credit card fraud cases, involving credit card details which were bought from the Internet," said Bedok Division Commander Tan Tin Wee.

He added that customers' details could be compromised in a variety of ways, such as when companies' databases are hacked.

He urged members of the public to review their credit card statements monthly so as to monitor if their details have been misused.

Assistant Commissioner Tan added that with credit card statements going digital, customers might not go through their bills thoroughly, failing to recognise misuse early.

Other preventive measures customers can take include ensuring that the online merchants they use are reputable, and that their online history and cached information are cleared regularly, said the police.

Foo, who was unrepresented, is remanded at Bedok Police Division. He will be back in court on Nov 3. If convicted of cheating, he can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

There were 173 reports of credit card fraud last year, down from 245 in 2015, according to police statistics. In the first half of this year, there were 91 such reports.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 28, 2017, with the headline 'Man allegedly used foreign credit card details to cheat'. Print Edition | Subscribe