For those of us who live in Singapore, Carousell is a godsend.
Because we either live on a budget or are late to buy concert tickets or just want to try something new without spending a fortune.
I mean, did you know that as of 2016, there have been over 23 million things sold on the platform?
Oh yeah, and since a couple of Singaporeans started it in 2012, it has now expanded to 7 countries worldwide.
I mean, it makes sense – it’s like online thrifting! Cheap and convenient. Those are the two magic words, am I right?
Unfortunately, not all of us have awesome experiences on Carousell.
Some of us have downright shitty experiences cuz there have been many scams going around.
And we know a lot about scams. Not that we’re scammers ourselves, but we’ve worked with the Singapore Police Force to create awareness about online scams. Like this video:
(Since you’re here, subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more informative videos lah)
Now, in order to help you guys have an amazing buying/selling experience on Carousell, here are 7 things for you to know so you can be cautious in your shopping ventures!
Don’t say I didn’t warn you hor.
1. The good ol’ “transfer me more money to get your item” scam.
One day, a friendly Singaporean guy named Khai was scrolling through Carousell.
You see, Khai had just one wish in his heart.
And that was to purchase the PS4 Slim 500GB. And luck seemed to be on his side when he came across amirahong64585.
Because this was the fairy godmother offering him all he wanted and more (10 free games and 2 controllers) for the grand total of $250.
Oh, just so you know the PS4 Slim 500GB retails for about $400 on Lazada and only comes with 1 controller.
Is this the day luck is finally on my side, Khai asked the heavens, as he contacted the seller on WhatsApp.
Oh yes, and the seller promised that Khai would have all these items (including a game that doesn’t exist (Homecoming Spiderman) and a game that hasn’t been released yet (Red Dead Redemption 2)) delivered to his doorstep in 3-5 hours.
No matter what.
Khai wiped a tear from his eye as he thanked the great big spaghetti man in the sky and transferred the seller his money.
I am the chosen one, he thought to himself. I have been touched by gods.
But yeah, no.
The seller kept asking him for more and more money.
To pay for delivery another $197, to pay for GST another $7, to pay for clearing customs another $200+.
All to be transferred to a *new* bank account that was named EGadgets.
Khai conceded by paying for delivery and GST. But he smelt something fishy going on finally (we were all rooting for you, Khai!) when they kept asking for more.
He refused, asked for a refund and that’s when the seller blocked him on WhatsApp.
But by this time, our poor friendly Khai had already forked out $447.
Moral of this story?
The moment that someone asks you to keep paying, and the moment you feel like you lucked out on a deal, DON’T go for it!
Report them, try to get a refund, go to the police, do something if they have already taken some money from you.
Rule of thumb when shopping on Carousell: If it sounds too good to be true, it almost always is. Don’t take that chance.
2. Speaking of paying extra for GST…
If any seller says that you have to pay an extra amount for GST, run far far away.
Even if that amount is just a few dollars.
Because did you know that in Singapore ONLY GST-registered businesses can charge for GST?
It is illegal for anyone else to charge GST.
If you want to check if the person/company you are purchasing from is GST-registered, visit this portal.
All you have to do is key in their company name and in a few seconds, you’ll know if you are being scammed or not.
But of course, if you’re buying from person (who doesn’t even have a company) whose “shop” and “office” is in an HDB unit, you can be sure that if there’s a sudden increase of 7% in GST, your name is Robert if you still pay for that.
3. FAKE IC’s.
Don’t ever accept pictures of IC as proof of the authenticity of a seller.
Whether real or not.
Just don’t take that chance, okay?
If you suspect something shady going on, insist on doing a meet-up.
It’s easier to not be lazy and inconvenience yourself a bit than to lose money by being scammed.
So move your bumbum and meet them in person.
If they refuse adamantly to meet-up, and you feel like certain things about the deal doesn’t sit very well with you, cut your losses and move on.
But ultimately, just don’t ever accept any IC pics as proof.
Remember #1? The seller sent an image of an IC as well. Obviously it isn’t his.
4. Hacking into old Carousell accounts.
This one really some next level stuff, lah.
According to Scam Alert, there have been people hacking into old Carousell accounts to make them seem legit.
Now how to beware of people like this?
Usually, their shipping method will seem quite fishy. They will insist on this or that when it comes to shipping which can be off-putting to you.
For example: “No, no, only our guys can deliver this item because of XYZ reason. don’t worry, this service is free of charge”, etc.
Again, for this one, ask for a meet-up.
Don’t bother insisting that they ship it to you via SingPost or NinjaVan because they can charge you more and run away with your money without a second thought.
5. Hey, sellers get shit too you know?
Yeah, we agree.
We can’t be biased towards the buyers getting cheated. Like when this one guy wanted to sell off his Rolex watch worth $11,300.
A 22-year old buyer assured him that the money has been transferred in full via iBanking. He gave the watch over. And then he realised that no money had been credited to his account.
This one really heart pain, man.
Imagine losing over ten thousand bucks just like that.
Wait till you see that payment has been made. If it’s such a huge amount like this, meet in a busy area (like a bank) and sit together. Watch the money get transferred and then hand over the item to the buyer.
Play it safe. Like what my boss always say, “Unless the money is in our bank, I consider it unpaid even if there’s a cheque or payment voucher. And promise of payment is just that: empty words with no money.”
No wonder he’s so fat. But anyways.
For anyone thinking of getting away with a scam like this, it’d be good for you to know that a suspect was arrested.
And if found guilty, he’d have to pay a fine and face up to 10 years in prison.
Worth it? You tell me.
6. Mobile phone purchase scam.
Just a month ago (May 8) – so this is quite recent – a man was arrested for a series of scams to do with mobile phone purchases on Carousell.
So basically, people sold this guy their mobile phones and when they asked for payment, he would give incomplete bank transfers and say the amount will be reflected in their bank statement in a couple of days.
Then he went MIA and discontinued the online transfer once he got hold of their mobile phones.
So if you ever want to sell off your mobile phones, please go to reputable sources. Don’t take your chance online.
Even if you are going to, remember our obese boss’s advice: no see money, no deal.
7. USS tickets scam.
All of us who live in Singapore at one point or another want to go to USS.
But tickets are so expensive, so we take to Carousell, hoping we can score some cheap tickets.
Just so you know, I have personally purchased USS tickets on Carousell and everything went smoothly.
It was cheaper than the tickets sold at USS but not by a whole lot.
So if you are like this lady and have seen some really dirt-cheap tickets on Carousell, please don’t take the chance of buying them.
That’s how she lost $240.
Again, I reiterate, if something seems too good to be true, or if you think wah I’m damn lucky sia, chances are you’re not. And you’re setting yourself up for major disappointment.
What to do if I have been the victim of scamming?
Well, you have four options.
You can bring a claim against a seller by filing with the Small Claims Tribunal in Singapore. The only downside is that you would need the seller’s personal particulars and that it isn’t worth filing if the claimable amount is low.
On the plus side, it’s cheap and you wouldn’t have to engage a lawyer.
The second thing you can do is file a police report. The person can be charged for ‘Cheating’ under Section 415 of the Penal Code.
The only con of doing this is that you are not guaranteed your money back.
The third thing you can do is have a criminal proceeding against the seller by filing a Magistrate’s Complaint at the Community Justice Tribunal’s Division of the State Courts.
The pros and cons are similar to filing a police report. But the biggest con could be that if you choose to employ a lawyer to help you with the filing, it will cost a lot more!
The final thing you can do is report the incident to the Carousell support team here. If the seller is found guilty, their account will be immediately suspended.
If further investigation is needed, they will employ the relevant agencies to look into it.
This method is free and convenient. Not to mention that it’s immediate. The only downside is that you are not guaranteed your money back!
No one likes being scammed.
So we thought we should bring it to your attention as a PSA on how to shop and sell safely on the app.
Be cautious and always be on the lookout for shady customers/sellers.
Have a happy and safe shopping experience on Carousell, and may you never get scammed.
If you do, at least you guys know what to do about it now!
Seriously guys, be careful and realistic when shopping online. Especially Carousell.
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