Police have arrested a 33-year-old man for cheating more than 10 victims out of hundreds of dollars by selling them invalid electronic tickets to Universal Studios Singapore (USS) on online marketplace Carousell.
Ms Lynda Loh, who fell for the scam in April, told The Straits Times yesterday she had bought two e-tickets for $100 that were advertised as discounted on Carousell.
But when she arrived at USS, she was told at the counter that the tickets were invalid. "I messaged the seller and he said he would resend me the e-tickets, but his last message was 'OK' and he didn't reply after that," said Ms Loh, 28, an accountant.
She went to a police station immediately to make a report.
Just a month after she was scammed, two other women fell prey to the same culprit.
Ms Ng Kai Chi, who is in her 30s, told The Straits Times t she bought a discounted e-ticket for about $45 to $50 on Carousell.
"I thought it was safe. I messaged the seller and made the payment. He sent me a barcode in his e-mail and I thought it was the real one," she said.
However, when she got to USS the next day, the counter staff told her the ticket was not valid.
She tried messaging the seller but did not get a reply, and found out later that Carousell had suspended his account.
She, too, made a police report.
A third victim, Ms Orbegoso Jane, 29, said she bought two tickets for $100 on Carousell in May this year.
The property officer said the photo of the ticket she received was blurry, so she asked the seller to send her another shot. He did not respond.
The police said they had received several reports of victims being cheated with the same modus operandi since March.
The culprit had used multiple bank accounts, Carousell IDs and contact numbers.
He was identified and arrested in Bukit Batok Street 32 yesterday. If convicted of cheating, he faces a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine.
Ms Loh said it was her first time being scammed on Carousell. She said she had bought USS tickets before on the portal with no trouble.
"This didn't put me off buying from online websites but I will be more cautious next time and look at the comments," she said. "His account was brand new with only one comment saying he's a good seller. That day, I was too desperate to find a ticket, so I just went ahead and transferred the money to him."
The police advised online shoppers to check the seller's track record by reading reviews or contacting previous customers; buy tickets only from authorised sellers, taking note of the terms and conditions of the sale; and use shopping platforms with arrangements to release payment to the seller only when the item has been received by the buyer.