Saturday, 26 Nov 2022

Teen arrested over Bruno Mars, Universal Studios Singapore e-ticket scams

SINGAPORE – A 19-year-old Malaysian was arrested on Tuesday (Nov 13) for his suspected involvement in a series of e-commerce scams on Carousell here.

The police said in a statement on Wednesday that, between May and June this year, they received multiple reports from victims who were allegedly cheated by several online “sellers”.

These sellers claimed to be selling Universal Studios Singapore e-tickets and Bruno Mars concert tickets.

After the victims paid for the tickets via bank transfers, however, the sellers became uncontactable.

The Straits Times understands that the various accounts were in fact created by just two teens – the 19-year-old and a Singaporean, also 19, arrested last Wednesday at 3.30pm in Havelock Road.

Through investigations, officers from the Commercial Affairs Department established the identity of the new 19-year-old suspect and arrested him on Tuesday at 4.30pm in Kallang Road.

The authorities seized a laptop, a tablet and four mobile phones as case exhibits.

Preliminary investigations showed that the two 19-year-olds are believed to have been involved in at least 60 cases of e-commerce scams.

The teen arrested on Tuesday is expected to be charged on Thursday with abetment to cheating. If found guilty, he could be jailed for up to 10 years and might also be fined.

The other teen arrested last week has already been charged with cheating.

According to the police, there were at least 120 reports of online purchase scams that specifically involved concert tickets in 2017.

On Aug 10 this year, The New Paper reported that a scammer had cheated several fans of home-grown Mandopop singer JJ Lin out of at least $2,000 in total.

The police advised members of the public to take precautions while shopping online.

Shoppers should bear in mind that the party they are dealing with online is a stranger. So, before performing a transaction on an online shopping site, they should find out how the site safeguards their interest or can help them resolve disputes.

Shoppers should also insist on cash on delivery especially if responding to online classified advertisements. And if advance payments are required, they should use shopping platforms that provide arrangements to release their payment to the seller only upon receipt of the item.

While culprits might provide a copy of an identification card or driver’s licence to gain shoppers’ trust, the documents might not necessarily belong to the person communicating with them online.

Shoppers should also be aware that scammers might use a local bank account which does not belong to them, in order to enhance their credibility.

For more information on scams, members of the public can visit scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam hotline on 1800-722-6688.

Anyone with information on such scams may call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness

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