Online Purchase Scam

Online Purchase Scam

As of December 2021



Have fallen prey to scammers



Total amount lost to scammers



Largest amount lost by an individual


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

07 Jun 2023 | Online Purchase Scam

Beware of fake ads or posts on social media

I saw this Facebook ad that sells grocery vouchers like NUTC, Sheng Siong, Giant etc. It's obviously fake. I didn't buy it. The name of Facebook page is Voucher Explorer. Link:…...

03 Apr 2023 | Online Purchase Scam

Do not click on suspicious links!

I sold a coffee table on Facebook Marketplace to Andrea Bennett. She then sent me a link that appeared to be from SingPost, where I could collect my payment and enter courier details. I clicked the link…...

24 Feb 2023 | Online Purchase Scam

Beware of fake buyers online

Be cautious when selling items on Facebook Marketplace. Scammers may approach you with similar tactics, such as not bargaining on price, asking someone else to pick up the item on their behalf, and insisting…...

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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