SINGAPORE: Two teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of carrying out a series of e-commerce scams involving the sale of gold jewellery on online platform Carousell.
The suspects, a man and a woman both aged 19, are believed to have cheated more than 40 people out of more than S$5,000, said the police in a news release on Wednesday (May 20).
In May, the police received several reports from people who said they had been cheated by an online seller who claimed to be running a Hari Raya Puasa celebration promotion, selling gold jewellery at discounted prices on Carousell.
After the victims made payments via bank transfer, the seller became uncontactable, said the police.
The two teenagers were subsequently arrested on Tuesday.
Further investigations found that the two had also lodged a false police report claiming that the woman had misplaced her personal belongings, including a document with her bank access credentials.
The report also claimed that she had received money from unknown sources.
Police investigations are ongoing.
Anyone convicted of cheating could be jailed for up to ten years and fined.
Anyone who gives any information which they know to be false to a public servant could be jailed for up to two years, fined, or both.
The police advised members of the public to be careful when making online purchases and to avoid making advance payments or direct bank transfers to sellers.
Scammers may entice buyers to contact them directly through messaging platforms and offer better or faster deals if the customer pays via bank transfer, said the police, warning the public not to fall for such offers.
Consumers should opt for payment options that only release payment to sellers upon delivery and should choose authorised sellers, especially for high-value items, they added.