At least 23 people were conned by scammers into paying S$3,400 for ZoukOut tickets on online market places such as Carousell and Craigslist, the police said on Friday.
The police said the victims were asked by the scammers, who posed as online sellers, to make advanced payments for the tickets either as a deposit or in full. The amount is supposed to be transferred to a local bank account before agreeing to deliver the items. But, once the payment was done, these scammers usually become uncontactable and they do not deliver the items.
According to the police, a total of 1,491 cases of online purchase scams were reported from January 2016 to September 2016. The police said most of the victims had used online community marketplaces such as Carousell, Craigslist, Gumtree and Facebook for completing their online transactions.
The police urged members of the public to buy tickets only from official sources and to take precautionary measures while shopping online. They said that before doing any sort of transaction, one should always find out how the online site safeguards your interest or can help you resolve disputes.
The authorities said if possible one should always try to pay at the time of delivery. In case of advanced payments, people should try and use shopping platforms that provide arrangements to only release your payment to the seller upon your receipt of the item.
The police advised the public to be careful because even if the scammers provide a copy of an identification card or driver's licence to gain their trust but it might not necessarily belong to the person communicating online.