Online Purchase Scam
As of December 2022
WHAT IS AN ONLINE PURCHASE SCAM?
An unusually good deal for a gadget, amusement park or concert tickets attracts your attention online. You transfer payment to the ""seller"" who promises delivery of the item. In some cases, the seller demands further payment for duties or delivery charges after the first payment is made. Ultimately, you never receive the item.
In another variant, you may be asked to pay in cash for items that you did not purchase, that are different to what you thought you purchased or are cheap replicas.
Many of these fake sellers may pose as legitimate online sellers on popular marketplaces, create fake websites, or even place advertisements on social media to build credibility.
You only realise you've been scammed after paying for the items in cash.
Look out for these scam signs
If it's too good to be true, chances are it is. These deals often go for way below market price disguised as a one-time-only or flash deals.
Scammers may also promote popular, sold-out items for above market price.
Scammers often omit product information, and/or have unstated terms and conditions.
Scammers may try to take the conversation off platform to avoid detection.
Scammers will often ask you to pay via direct bank transfer in return for a discount.
Scammers may also ask for extra payments like admin charges and freight charges.
How to stay safe
For high-value items, use reputable platforms with consumer protection and return policies.
Online Purchase Scam: Real Stories
16 Sep 2023 | Online Purchase Scam
The scammer posed as a buyer representing "Nanyang Polytechnic" and expressed interest in purchasing high-value goods amounting to SGD 23,000. We requested a purchase order (PO) from Nanyang Polytechnic's…...
15 Sep 2023 | Online Purchase Scam
I came across an advertisement link shared by my friend, promoting a great package deal for Bintan Banyan Tree. Intrigued, I clicked on the link from Facebook and inquired for more information via Messenger.…...
08 Sep 2023 | Online Purchase Scam
I was playing an online game when someone randomly messaged me in-game, expressing interest in purchasing my game account for $300. Despite being aware of various scams, I failed to recognize the red…...