If you see something being sold for a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Victims of the online purchase scam, tempted by what seems like a good deal for a gadget, transfer money to the “seller” who promises delivery of the item.
In some cases, sellers may also demand more payments for “duties” or delivery charges– and ultimately, the victim never receives the item.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR
- Be wary of people selling items for prices that sound too good to be true
- Check that the seller is physically located where they claim to be; if the seller does not provide enough information about their business or terms and conditions upfront, be suspicious
- Check the seller's track record by reading reviews of their services or contact past customers
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
- Bear in mind that the party that you are dealing with online is a stranger. Before performing a transaction on an online shopping site, find out how the site safeguards your interest or can help you resolve disputes
- If advanced payments are required, use shopping platforms that provide arrangements to only release your payment to the seller upon your receipt of the item
- Only buy from reputable online vendors; research the vendor by searching for reviews about them
- Only transact with people you trust – verify the seller's identity with a phone number if possible.
- Be mindful that although culprits may provide a copy of an identification card or driver's licence to gain your trust, it may not necessarily belong to the person communicating with you online
- Never give bank account numbers, credit card numbers or personal information to anyone you do not trust or have not checked out beforehand
- Think about what information is necessary for the purchase and do not give out any more
- Note that scammers may use a local bank account to enhance their credibility; however the owner of the account may not be the person communicating with you online
- Insist on cash on delivery especially if responding to online classified advertisements
Source: Scam Alert Singapore