• Sat. Oct 29th, 2022

A total of 15,756 scams were reported in 2020, up from 9,545 in 2019.. Read more at straitstimes.com.

Feb 9, 2021

SINGAPORE -The Carousell seller would call the couple at all hours of the day, claiming that he would return their money soon.
The 27-year-old, who offered hotel stays in Marina Bay Sands, even gave them an address to pick up the $277,000 he took from them in a bag full of cash, but he always cancelled the meetings at the last minute.
This was one of the 3,354 police reported e-commerce scams last year, the police announced on Tuesday (Feb 9) when releasing their yearly statistics.
Ivan and Jessica (not their real names) eventually decided to report him to the police and the scammer was charged in court last month.
“We usually go on Carousell for our staycations and we do that quite frequently. And so, when we chanced upon this seller, we went to look at his reviews as usual and saw he was quite reliable,” said Ivan at a media conference held by the police on Monday.
Ivan, 22, who is currently serving his National Service, and his girlfriend Jessica, 25, a business owner, paid $29,000 initially for nine hotel rooms with three-night stays.
However, the Carousell seller made up excuses to siphon more money off them, such as by claiming that they needed to pay cancellation fees when he did not secure the booking for them.
He convinced them to transfer more money to him so that he could purportedly pay off other buyers and have his account unfrozen by the authorities.
Eventually, the couple gave him more than $277,000 over a four-month period.
The scammer offered fake Marina Bay Sands hotel stays through the e-commerce platform Carousell. ST PHOTO: JOEL CHAN
“The reason why this amount went up so high is because we were so wrapped up in this situation and we didn’t know what else to do, how to get this money back… (and) because he gave us hope that we will get this money back,” said Ivan.
A total of 15,756 scams were reported in 2020 a 65.1 per cent jump in cases from the 9,545 reported in 2019.
E-commerce scams, which rose by 19.1 per cent last year, were the most commonly reported type of scams last year. 
The total amount cheated in e-commerce scams increased to $6.9 million in 2020, from $2.3 million the year before.  The largest sum cheated in a single case in 2020 was $1.9 million.