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Singapore

Man jailed for cheating victims into paying for Singapore-Malaysia VTL bus tickets on Carousell

SINGAPORE: A 27-year-old man has been sentenced to eight weeks' jail for cheating victims into buying bus tickets for the Singapore-Malaysia Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL).

Muhammad Solehudin Abu was investigated for cheating three victims on e-commerce platform Carousell when he did not have any bus tickets for sale, said the police on Monday (Aug 22).

"After receiving payment from the victims, the man became uncontactable and removed his listing from Carousell," police said in a media release.

The Singapore-Malaysia land VTL was launched in November 2021, allowing travellers to cross the border without having to serve COVID-19 quarantine in either country if they travel through the Causeway on designated bus services. 

When bookings first opened, travellers faced long waits and ticketing issues on the websites of the two designated bus companies amid high demand for tickets.

The offence of cheating carries a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine.

The police said they take a serious view of people involved in scams and frauds, and that offenders will be dealt with in accordance with the law. 

The police advised members of the public to be 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 police.

"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," said the police, urging people not to fall for such scams. 

For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.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.

Source: CNA/ic
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