One man and three women, aged between 18 and 27, were arrested for their suspected involvement in the recent spate of e-commerce scams involving the sale of tickets, mostly to the concerts of Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Yoasobi, Joker Xue, and Enhypen, following a joint operation conducted between 31 January 2024 and 6 February 2024, by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), seven Police Land Divisions, Carousell and the Government Technology Agency (GovTech).
Since January 2024, at least 583 victims have fallen prey, with total losses amounting to at least $223,000. In these cases, scammers pretending to be “sellers” would post concert tickets for sale on online platforms such as Telegram, Carousell, Twitter, Facebook and Xiao Hong Shu. Victims who expressed interest to purchase the tickets would be redirected to contact the sellers on WhatsApp or Telegram or WeChat. In some cases, the sellers provided fake screenshots or videos of the tickets and / or the ticket purchase receipts. The sellers would promise to email the tickets or transfer tickets to the victims’ Ticketmaster accounts once the payment was successful. Victims would only realise that they had been scammed when the sellers asked for additional payments, delayed delivery of tickets, become uncontactable, or when the tickets were found to be invalid on the concert day.
During the one-week operation, officers from the CAD and the seven Police Land Divisions arrested the four persons through simultaneous island-wide operations. Preliminary investigations revealed that the four persons had allegedly facilitated the scam cases by opening new bank accounts and relinquishing them to the scammers, or relinquishing their Singpass credentials, and bank accounts and/or Internet banking credentials, for monetary gains. The relinquished Singpass credentials were misused by the scammers to open new bank accounts and mobile lines. The Singpass credentials and mobile lines were then further exploited by the scammers to open Carousell accounts to make the fake concert tickets listings.
Another seven men and four women, including a 15-year-old male teenager, are also assisting in investigations. Preliminary investigations revealed that in these cases, the subjects had unwittingly facilitated the scams through several ways;
- Most of them took on job offers on Telegram, to receive money in their bank accounts to buy Razer gift cards or to facilitate the receipt and transfer of money through their bank accounts; and
- A 21-year-old woman was asked to change her Carousell account moniker and email address, and later, the Carousell account was found to be taken over by the scammers.
- A 15-year-old male teenager gave away his Carousell account to the scammer, who had offered to top up the Carousell wallet.
The Police would like to advise members of the public to adopt the following precautionary measures:
- ADD - ScamShield App and set security features (e.g., enable two-factor (2FA) or multifactor authentication for banks, social media, Singpass accounts; set transaction limits on internet banking transactions, including PayNow)
- CHECK - for scam signs with official sources (e.g., visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688). If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Purchase only from authorised sellers or reputable sources and be wary of attractive, time-sensitive deals where only limited stocks are available. Avoid making upfront payments to bank accounts belonging to unknown individuals and, whenever possible, avoid making advance payments or direct bank transfers to the seller. Always verify the seller’s profile through customer reviews and ratings.
- TELL - authorities, family, and friends about this scam so they do not fall for it. Report the fraudulent pages to the social media sites.
If you have information relating to such crimes or if you are in doubt, please call the Police Hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. All information will be kept strictly confidential. If you require urgent Police assistance, please dial ‘999’.
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Helpline at 1800-722-6688. Join the ‘Spot the Signs. Stop the Crimes’ 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. Fighting scams is a community effort. Together, we can ACT Against Scams and prevent our loved ones from becoming the next victim!
Photos of Arrest ▼
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
08 February 2024 @ 9:30 PM