Police warn of face mask scams on e-commerce platforms

Police warn of face mask scams on e-commerce platforms

A worker works on a production line for prototype face masks at Mask Factory, following the outbrea
A worker works on a production line for prototype face masks at a factory in Hong Kong. (Photo: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu)

SINGAPORE: The police on Saturday (Feb 22) warned of a new variant of a an e-commerce scam involving the sale of face masks.

At least 11 police reports have been made about such scams, the authorities said in a media release.

The victims of these scams would be asked to make payment in advance via bank transfer, then be directed to collect the face masks from various clinics. 

"The victims only realised that they were scammed after they went to the clinics and were informed that there were no such arrangements," the police said, adding that investigations are ongoing. 

The authorities will work with relevant stakeholders, including online platform Carousell, to investigate cases.

READ: 4 people arrested for running mask scams online

READ: Five people arrested, suspected of running face mask scams on Carousell

The police advised members of the public to be rational when considering online purchases and not to buy on impulse. 

Scammers may use a local bank account or provide a copy of an NRIC or driver's licence to gain the buyer's trust, police warned. 

Customers should also avoid making payments or deposits in advance. 

They should buy only from reputable websites or platforms that release payments to the seller when the items have been received, police added.

"The police take a serious view of those who take advantage of the current COVID-19 situation to perpetrate crimes," the Singapore Police Force said.

"All offenders will be dealt with sternly in accordance with the law."

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Source: CNA/nh(hm)

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