SINGAPORE - A 33-year-old man has been arrested 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.
The Straits Times understands that more than 10 people fell prey to the scam.
Ms Lynda Loh, who fell victim to the scam in April this year, told The Straits Times on Friday (Dec 22) that she had bought two e-tickets for $100 that were advertised as discounted on Carousell.
However, when she arrived at USS, the person at the counter told her that the tickets were invalid.
"I messaged the seller and he said he will resend me the e-tickets, but his last message was 'ok' and he didn't reply after that," said Ms Loh, a 28-year-old accountant.
She went to a police station immediately to report the matter.
Just one month after she was scammed, two other women fell prey to the same culprit.
Ms Ng Kai Chi, who is in her 30s, told ST that 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 visited USS the next day, the counter staff told her the ticket was not valid.
She tried messaging the seller but got no reply, and found out later that Carousell had suspended his account.
She, too, made a police report.
A third victim, Ms Orbegoso Jane, said she bought two tickets for $100 on Carousell in May this year.
The 29-year-old property officer said the photo of the ticket she was sent was blur, so she asked the seller to send her another shot.
However, he never responded.
The police said that they had received several reports from victims since March this year, with the same modus operandi.
The suspect had used multiple bank accounts, Carousell IDs and contact numbers.
He was identified and arrested in Bukit Batok Street 32 on Friday. 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 him the money."
The police advised online shoppers to check the seller's track record by reading reviews or contacting previous customers; purchase tickets only from authorised sellers, taking note of the terms and conditions of the sale; and use shopping platforms that provide arrangements to release payment to the seller only when the item has been received by the buyer.