The Police have arrested a 27-year-old man for his suspected involvement in a series of hotel room booking scams.
In November 2021, the Police received several reports from victims who were purportedly cheated by a man who offered hotel room bookings on Carousell. After making advance payments via PayNow, the victims did not receive the hotel booking as promised.
Through follow-up investigations, officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division established the identity of the man and arrested him on 23 November 2021. Preliminary investigations revealed that the man is believed to be involved in several other similar cases involving a sum of about $12,500.
The man will be charged in court on 25 November 2021 with cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224. The offence carries an imprisonment term that may extend to ten years and a fine.
The Police would like to advise members of the public to take the following precautions when making online purchases:
- If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Purchase only from authorised sellers or reputable sources, especially for high-value items.
- Opt for buyer protection by using in-built payment options that release payment to the seller only upon delivery. Whenever possible, avoid making advance payments or direct bank transfers to the seller as this method does not offer any protection.
- Scammers may entice buyers to contact them directly through messaging platforms such as WhatsApp or WeChat by offering a better or faster deal if bank transfer payments are made directly to them. They may also use a local bank account or provide a copy of a NRIC/driver’s licence to make you believe that they are genuine sellers. Do not fall for it!
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688. Anyone with information on such scams may call the Police Hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
24 November 2021 @ 9:45 PM