What are E-Commerce Scams in Singapore?
Any type of fraud that occurs on an e-commerce platform is referred to as e-commerce fraud. Ecommerce fraud includes the use of a stolen or forged credit card, the use of a false identity, and affiliate fraud advertising. When a customer commits fraud on your online store, you, as the retailer, bear the financial burden.
How to be aware of it?
Members of the public are advised to take the following preventative actions by the police:
1. Be wary of dubious promises and bargains that seem too good to be true.
2. Before taking any employment ostensibly given by the platforms, check with the relevant e-commerce platforms.
3. Use the in-platform secured payment solutions or opt for cash-on-delivery to transact safely on these e-commerce platforms. Never send money to a bank account that you don’t know about.
4. You should be aware of who you’re dealing with.
5. Do not respond to strange texts, pop-up windows, any links or attachments in emails; instead, delete them: If you’re not sure, use an impartial source like a phone book or an online search to confirm the contact’s identification.
List of the known scams in Singapore
1. Cold Call Supplier Scam
The proprietors of trade firms are the target of this con. It usually starts with a phone call from someone on the other side of the world offering the company owns exclusive rights to sell a product in Singapore. Following their acceptance of the offer, the owner of the trading firm receives a substantial order for the merchandise, which is actually from the con artists. The victim places the orders and pays for the things in order to fulfill those purchases. The victim quickly realizes that the products will never arrive and that the con artists have vanished.
2. Car Rental Scam
It’s probably a fraud if a rental car ad appears to be too good to be true. Victims of the car rental scam are tricked into paying a deposit or the entire rental amount before receiving the vehicle.
3. Apple Scam
Scammers claim that they or their loved ones are likely to suffer misfortune and that they may avoid it by conducting a ritual. Money or valuables are placed in a plastic bag or container as part of the ritual. Victims are advised that they must open the bag or container within a few days or the ritual would fail.
When the designated time has gone, the victims open the bag to discover that the jewels have been swapped with useless goods such as fruit, newspapers, or sugar.
4. Cyber Extortion Scam
Scammers make internet friends with their victims and then get them to conduct an obscene act on tape. The scammers then use the video or photographs of the act to demand money from the victims.
5. Investment Scam
On social networking sites such as Facebook, WeChat, and Line, victims get messages from persons purporting to be stockbrokers, bank or financial institution personnel.
If you respond to these messages, you may become a victim of an Investment Scam, in which fraudsters ask for personal information such as your NRIC and passport number, ostensibly for an investment firm. Scammers then demand that victims send money to banks in Hong Kong and China, as well as pay administrative, security, and tax expenses, in order to obtain the profits and returns.
6. Job Scam
These scams frequently use internet job postings to recruit would-be male social escorts. Victims who respond are promised that when they pay a registration fee, they would be connected to wealthy female clientele. After receiving payment, the con artists demand further expenses, such as insurance and membership dues, before vanishing with the funds.
7. Rental Scams
Scammers rent out a room or a house and employ high-pressure techniques to induce victims to pay the rent upfront. The scammers are either not authorized to rent out the property or the property does not exist in these circumstances.
Tips to avoid the scam
- Never give out your bank account numbers, credit card numbers, or personal information to anyone you don’t know or haven’t done business with before.
- Check the track record of internet sellers before making a purchase. Request a list of the seller’s former clients or customers.
- Deal only with people you know and trust. Make certain you know who the firm or individual is and where they are located.
- Never send your personal information via e-mail.
- If you’re being kidnapped, don’t transfer any money to the kidnappers. Instead, call the cops and your loved one right away to make sure they’re safe.
- If you receive texts or phone calls from someone stating they need you to wire money to them immediately from another country, you should contact the police and refuse to complete the transfers.
How scammers are using E-Commerce to Scam people?
In Singapore, the most prevalent sites for e-commerce scams are digital platforms like Carousell, Facebook, Instagram, Shopee, and Lazada, where scammers advertise low pricing for their goods, luring unsuspecting online buyers in.
To prevent becoming a victim of an e-commerce scam, only buy from reliable platforms that have customer protection rules in place, or insist on paying only after receiving the items or receiving the services. Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it most often is.
Ecommerce fraud, then, is deception used in a commercial transaction over the Internet with the intent of gaining financial or personal advantage for the fraudster while harming the merchant’s bottom line. Payment fraud is another name for e-commerce fraud.
Where to complain if you are facing a problem with E-Commerce Scams in Singapore?
Call Singapore Police
Please call the Singapore Police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit your information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness if you have any information about these offenses or if you have any doubts. If you want immediate police assistance, phone ‘999’.
Scam alert website
Scams can be learned more about by going to www.scamalert.sg or call the Singapore Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688. To receive timely alerts and share them with your family and friends, sign up as an advocate for the ‘Spot the Signs. Stop the Crimes’ campaign at www.scamalert.sg/fight. If we cooperate together, we can help fight fraud and prevent our loved ones from becoming the next victim.