SINGAPORE — More than 100 e-commerce scams, involving hotel room reservations and attraction tickets, were reported to the police in the first four months of the year.
In an advisory posted on Facebook on Friday (31 May), the police reminded the public to be wary when making such online purchases, especially with the June school holidays around the corner.
Tickets for Universal Studios Singapore were often highlighted in reports involving attraction tickets, with victims either not receiving them or receiving invalid ones after payments were made.
The police advised the public to be wary of online advertisements “that sound too good to be true” and refrain from making impulse purchases.
“Scammers may use a local bank account or provide a copy of a NRIC/driver’s licence to make you believe that they are genuine sellers,” said the police.
Buyers should read the reviews of the seller before committing to a purchase. They should also avoid making payments in advance and instead rely on shopping platforms or arrangements that release payment to the seller only upon receiving the item.
“Alternatively, arrange to meet the seller and pay only after collecting the item. Bear in mind that tickets may be invalid upon entry as they are duplicated tickets. You are therefore advised to purchase only from authorised sellers,” added the advisory.
E-commerce scams were identified as the top scam in Singapore in 2018, with more than 2,000 cases reported last year, the police revealed at their annual media briefing. About 70 per cent of these scams took place on online marketplace Carousell.
Those who wish to provide any information related to such scams can call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.
For more advice on such matters, members of the public can also call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg.