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Man jailed 5 years for cheating 396 victims of more than S$108,000 on Carousell

Man jailed 5 years for cheating 396 victims of more than S$108,000 on Carousell

File photo of a person in handcuffs. (File photo: CNA/Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: A 34-year-old man has been sentenced to 60 months’ jail and fined S$17,000 on Wednesday (Aug 31) for cheating victims in a series of e-commerce scams and for participating in illegal online gambling activities.

Poh Zhenlong Caine had cheated 396 victims of more than S$108,000 on e-commerce platform Carousell, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said on Wednesday. 

SPF said it received numerous reports from victims who were cheated by purportedly different online sellers on Carousell from October 2018 to June 2020.

"These sellers advertised tickets for Universal Studios Singapore (USS), concerts, sporting events, and other items.

"After the victims had made payment via bank transfer, PayNow or Paylah, the sellers ceased communications and did not deliver the items."

Investigations revealed that Poh had posted advertisements on Carousell purporting to sell the products, said SPF.

In particular, he had advertised tickets to USS, concerts and sporting events after noticing that there was a high demand for such tickets on Carousell.

"By such manner of deception, Poh dishonestly induced 396 victims to deliver $108,693.90 to various bank accounts," said SPF.

Poh pleaded guilty to two charges of cheating, four charges of amalgamated unlawful remote gambling and one charge of unlawful remote gambling.

SPF said it takes a serious view of persons who may be involved in scams and fraud, and perpetrators will be dealt with, in accordance with the law.

It also advised members of the public to be very careful when making online purchases and to 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," said SPF.

"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 an NRIC/driver’s licence to make you believe that they are genuine sellers."

SPF also advised the public to purchase only from authorised sellers or reputable sources, especially for high-value items.
Source: CNA/fh(rj)

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