SINGAPORE - At least 445 reports of e-commerce scams involving mobile phones and other electronic gadgets were received by the police in the first five months of this year.
This is a 56 per cent jump from 285 cases in the same period last year.
The police said in a statement on Wednesday (June 26) that common items included Apple Airpods earphones, Nintendo Switch gaming consoles and Samsung phones.
"Scammers tend to leverage on the popularity of new mobile phone and electronic gadget releases to cheat victims who are eager to lay their hands on such items," the police said.
Bogus offers for such items were typically advertised on e-commerce platforms, and victims would not receive the items after paying for them.
In their statement, the police warned members of the public to be wary of such advertisements, especially if they suggest low prices that sound too good to be true.
"As far as possible, purchase only from authorised sellers. If you are shopping on online platforms, read the reviews of the seller before committing to a purchase," the police suggested.
They also advised against making payments or deposits in advance. Instead, customers should try to meet the seller before paying or use platforms that release payment to the seller only after the item is received.
To provide information on such crimes, call 1800-255-0000 or go to www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. Those who need urgent police assistance should call 999.
More information on scams can be found at www.scamalert.sg.