Five Arrested for E-commerce Scams Involving Sale of Face Masks

| 18 Feb 2020

A 24-year-old woman and four men, aged between 17 to 26, were arrested for their suspected involvement in five separate e-commerce scams involving the sale of face masks on Carousell.

The Police had received several reports from late January 2020 from individuals who said they had been cheated by sellers after they paid for face masks on Carousell. The sellers became evasive and uncontactable after these individuals had made payment via bank transfers.

Through investigations and working closely with Carousell, Police officers established the identities of five suspects and took the following action:

- A woman was arrested on 3 February 2020. She is believed to be involved in more than 40 cases of e-commerce scams amounting to more than $2,500. She was charged in court on 5 February 2020 with cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, which is punishable with an imprisonment term that may extend to 10 years, and a fine.

- A 26-year-old man was arrested on 6 February 2020. He is believed to be involved in more than two cases of e-commerce scams amounting to about $500. Investigations are ongoing.

- A 25-year-old man was arrested on 10 February 2020. He is believed to be involved in more than seven cases of e-commerce scams amounting to about $1,000. Investigations are ongoing.

- A 22-year-old man was arrested on 18 February 2020. He is believed to be involved in more than four cases of e-commerce scams amounting to at least $196. He will be charged in court on 19 February 2020 with cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224.

- A 17-year-old man was arrested on 18 February 2020. He is believed to be involved in at least five cases of e-commerce scams amounting to more than $500. He will be charged in court on 20 February 2020 with cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224.

In addition, the Authority received more than 90 reports from individuals alleging that a company, MedicalLex, had failed to deliver the masks they had purchased online. The Police are looking into the matter.

We would like to advise members of the public on the following when making online purchases, especially during this period:

- Don’t Panic - Be rational when considering purchases, and do not buy on impulse.
- Don’t Believe - Scammers may use a local bank account or provide a copy of an NRIC/driver’s licence to make you believe that they are genuine sellers. Do not fall for this!
- Don’t Give - Avoid making payments or deposits in advance. Use shopping platforms/arrangements that release your payments to the seller only upon receipt of the item(s). Buy only from reputable websites/platforms.

Please note that the Police take serious view of those who take advantage of the current COVID-19 situation to perpetrate crimes. All offenders will be dealt with sternly in accordance with the law.

Join the ‘Let’s Fight Scams’ campaign at www.scamalert.sg/fight by signing up as an advocate to receive up-to-date messages and share them with your family and friends. 

Together, we can help stop scams and prevent our loved ones from becoming the next victim of scam!