Some e-commerce scammers use others' identities

Some scammers resort to impersonating others, using photos from stolen identity cards or passports. PHOTO: REUTERS

There were 1,277 e-commerce scams in the first half of this year, a nearly 60 per cent rise from the 808 cases in the same period last year. About eight in 10 of these cases took place on online marketplace Carousell, commonly involving tickets and electronic items.

Some scammers resort to impersonating others, using photos from stolen identity cards or passports. Last October, then 21-year-old Mandy Teo's lost IC was used by scammers to sell tickets to Universal Studios Singapore's Halloween Horror Nights.

One woman turned up at the undergraduate's home in Pasir Ris to ask for tickets which she had paid $250 for.

Posing as a buyer on Carousell last week, The Straits Times found at least one scammer who tried to use similar methods.

When asked to meet up to complete the transaction, the seller claimed to be overseas and said the tickets would be e-mailed after a bank transfer was made.

The seller then sent a photo from an IC and a passport as "proof". The photo had been taken off a woman's blog, where she had posted about her new passport last year.

The blogger, who wanted to be identified only as Ms Ong, 25, said she had blanked out the IC and passport number. She made a police report last Wednesday.

In June, Carousell launched CarouPay, a payment platform that holds on to funds in the event of a dispute, such as when buyers do not receive their purchases from sellers.

The money will be released only after a resolution.

Police advise buyers to exercise extra caution when they come across unrealistic bargains.

They should check the seller's track record, and buy only from reputable vendors and sellers.

If advance payments are required, buyers should use shopping platforms that will release the money to the seller only after they have received their orders.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2018, with the headline Some e-commerce scammers use others' identities. Subscribe