SINGAPORE: A 39-year-old man was arrested on Saturday (May 29) for his suspected involvement in a series of car rental scams.
On May 16, police received a report from a victim claiming that he had been cheated by a seller on online marketplace Carousell after responding to a car rental advertisement.
“The seller had offered the victim an attractive price for the rental of a car,” said the police in a media release on Sunday.
After the victim made a deposit via PayNow, the man became uncontactable and did not deliver the car rental services.
Police were able to establish the identity of the suspect through investigations and arrested him on Saturday.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the man is believed to be involved in several other similar cases of scams, said the police.
The man will be charged in court on Monday for cheating. If found guilty, he could be jailed up to 10 years and fined.
The police advised members of the public to be careful when making online purchases:
- If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Purchase only from authorised sellers or reputable sources, especially for high-value items.
- Opt for buyer protection by using in-built payment options that release payment to the seller only upon delivery. Whenever possible, avoid making advance payments or direct bank transfers to the seller as this method does not offer any protection.
- Scammers may entice buyers to contact them directly through messaging platforms such as WhatsApp or WeChat by offering a better or faster deal if bank transfer payments are made directly to them. They may also use a local bank account or provide a copy of a NRIC or driver’s licence to make people believe that they are genuine sellers.