Online Purchase Scam

Online Purchase Scam

As of December 2022



Have fallen prey to scammers



Total amount lost to scammers


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

How to stay safe

Transact within the platform. Where possible, insist on cash-on-delivery or use the platform's secure payment method.
Always choose to deal with reputable sellers who have good ratings and reviews and have been with the site for some time.

For high-value items, use reputable platforms with consumer protection and return policies.
Always check the terms and conditions and ensure fees are stated upfront.
Additional fees such as GST may be levied on goods that exceed a certain value ($400) for more information visit Singapore Customs:

Explore each stage of this scam

The 5 Stages of E-commerce Scam

Discover the techniques behind the scam and red flags to look out for

Online Purchase Scam: Real Stories

16 Sep 2023 | Online Purchase Scam

Vigilance prevented us from getting scammed

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 lost money to an E-commerce 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 lost money to a scammer I met on a gaming site

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…...

GET SCAM-RELATED ADVICE: CALL 1800-722-6688 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, excl. PH)
CALL 1800-722-6688
(Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, excl. PH)

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