SINGAPORE: There were at least 35 reports of online purchase scams involving USS Halloween Horror Nights tickets between Aug 30 and Sep 29, according to a police advisory on Saturday (Oct 7).
Authorities said this was higher than the number of such reports in 2016, which was about 30, and that the amount cheated in a each case ranged from S$45 to S$7,000. This totalled up to more than S$21,500.
The culprits would ask their victims for advanced payments for the tickets, either as a deposit or in full, to be made to a local bank account. However, after the payments were transferred, the items were not delivered and the sellers became uncontactable, police said.
There were also cases in which culprits provided fake tickets and the victims only found out when they were denied entry.
RISE IN ONLINE PURCHASE SCAMS
In the news release, police also said there has been a "significant increase" in reports of online purchase scams.
"In August 2017 alone, there were almost 250 reports, which is about a 50% increase from the previous month," authorities said. "The majority of these online purchase scam cases were advertised on Carousell and Facebook."
Police advised the public to adopt the following prevention measures:
- Purchase tickets only from authorised sellers, and take note of the terms and conditions of the ticket sale
- If advanced payments are required, use shopping platforms that provide arrangements to only release your payment to the seller upon your receipt of the item.
- Arrange for a physical meet-up with the seller to verify the authenticity of the tickets prior to making payment.
For more scam-related advice, you may call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg.