SINGAPORE - Police have arrested a 45-year-old man for his suspected involvement in a series of cheating cases related to Iron Man figurines.
Since Oct 4, 2015, the police received multiple reports of victims who were allegedly cheated after placing orders for Hot Toys Iron Man figurines sold online by the suspect.
Hot Toys is a Hong-Kong based company that sells highly detailed collectible merchandise. Each Iron Man collectible figurine is priced at about $450.
After transferring the deposits to the suspect's bank account, the victims failed to receive their goods. When refunds were sought from the suspect, he turned evasive and became uncontactable thereafter.
Following investigations by officers from Central Division, the identity of the suspect was established. Further investigations revealed that the suspect had committed more than 40 counts of cheating involving 19 victims.
The suspect will be charged with cheating. If convicted, he could be jailed for up to 10 years, and fined.
In a press release on Thursday (Oct 20), the police advised members of the public to adopt the following measures to avoid falling victim to online purchase scams:
- Make your online purchases only from reputable vendors;
- If advanced payments are necessary, only transact with people you know and trust;
- Check that the person or company you are buying from is physically located where they claim to be;
- Check the company or seller's track record. Make enquiries with the clients and customers about the service they received from the seller;
- Never give your bank account numbers, credit card numbers and personal information to anyone you do not know or have not checked out;
- Do not provide any information that is not necessary to make the purchase;
- Be mindful that scammers may use a local bank account for the transaction to enhance their credibility. The owner of the bank account may not be the person communicating with you online.