Over $27,000 lost in alleged e-commerce scams, two men arrested

Crime figures for 2021 showed that victims in Singapore lost at least $633.3 million to scams. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Branded luxury bags and the PlayStation 5 gaming console were the carrots used by two men to allegedly cheat victims in two separate e-commerce scams in January.

The police said on Thursday (Feb 17) that the duo were identified and arrested on Tuesday by officers from Woodlands Police Division after investigations.

In the first case, which involved a 17-year-old, three victims were cheated of about $27,000 in total when they were allegedly sold counterfeit bags that he had passed off as authentic luxury items.

The second case involved a 25-year-old selling a PlayStation 5 to two victims. After they had made payments of $300, he allegedly did not deliver the items and used the money for his personal expenses.

Both men are being investigated for the offence of cheating and, if found guilty, can be jailed up to 10 years and fined.

The police said on Wednesday that crime figures for 2021 showed that victims in Singapore lost at least $633.3 million to scams.

This is almost 2.5 times the $268.4 million swindled in the previous year.

The police said at least 90 per cent of scams in Singapore originate from overseas, and described the syndicates as well resourced and technologically sophisticated.

Investment scams accounted for the most amount of money stolen, with victims losing $190.9 million. The largest sum taken in a single case was $6.4 million.

Job scams, which were not even among the top 10 scams in 2020, were the most common ruse last year with 4,554 cases, up from 132 the year before.

There are numerous variants in existence, from fake mobile apps to persuading victims to purchase movie tickets and then resell them to earn a commission.

The police said those wishing to find out more about scams can visit this website or call the Anti-Scam hotline on 1800-722-6688.

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

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