70% of E-Commerce Scams in S’pore Last Year Happened on Carousell

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Carousell is one of the most magical places to be at in Singapore.

Because on that e-commerce platform, you can buy anything and everything you want as long as you have the moolah.

Image: sg.carousell.com

From normal everyday items…

Image: sg.carousell.com

…to more exotic ones.

Part of the reason why Carousell is such an interesting place to be at is that it’s the closest model to a free market Singapore ever has.

Everybody can create an account and start selling products within minutes.

The products can be completely new or secondhand.

As long as the price is right, you’ll find buyers queuing up to get your stuff from you.

Sounds like perfect, doesn’t it? But it has it’s own drawbacks too.

Carousell Scams

Carousell scams, unfortunately, are nothing new to Singaporeans.

People have been cheated when trying to buy USS tickets.

Ah Hock loved Michelle and asked her, ‘Ai stead mai?’ in the 90s. Today, he tried again but would it work? Prepare some tissue paper and watch their love story here:

Buying PlayStation 4, getting cheated of a few extra dollars, getting flashed with fake NRICs, and more.

Some have been caught.

And some, not.

SPF Crime Statistics 2018

According to a Channel NewsAsia report, the Singapore Police Force has released its statistics for Singapore’s crime rate in 2018.

The overall reported crime cases increased by 1.4% from 32,668 cases in 2017 to 33,134 cases in 2018.

  • E-commerce, loan, credit-for-sex and China officials impersonation scams increased by 20.6% from 4,805 instances in 2017 to 5,796 in 2018.
  • Loan scams increased by 151%, with the amount cheated increased to $12 million from $566,000
  • Credit-for-sex scams increased by 28.7% with the amount of money lost increased to $1.5 million from $750,000.
  • China officials impersonation scams increased by 60.6%, although the amount cheated decreased to $12.7 million.
  • Phishing cases increased by 40.3% from 858 cases in 2017 to 1,204 cases in 2018.

70% of E-Commerce Scams Take Place on Carousell

E-commerce scams remained at the top of the Top 10 Scams in S’pore list. Yes, the SPF is also going the listicle route.

E-commerce scams increased from 1,907 cases to 2,125 cases (11.4%) and make up a substantial bulk of the total reported scams in 2018.

It was added that 70% of the e-commerce scam cases took place on Carousell and involved electronic products and tickets to attractions like Universal Studios Singapore.

That’s about 1,487 cases, by the way.

Scams Are The New Crimes

Perhaps it’s the anonymity of the internet, perhaps without face-to-face interaction, Singaporeans are not able to distinguish between real and fake, or perhaps, it’s the effectiveness of the police force.

Whichever it is, crimes like theft and related crimes are no longer the most reported crime in Singapore.

Shop thefts, theft-in-dwelling cases, motor vehicle and related theft cases and bicycle thefts have decreased by 8.6 per cent to 12,279 cases in 2018.

Here’s What You Can Do If You Get Ripped Off On Carousell

Seeing as how a huge majority of e-commerce scams happened on Carousell, here are a couple of options should you get ripped off:

Small Claims Tribunal

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.

Lodge a Police Report

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.

Magistrate’s Complaint

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!

Tell Carousell

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.

But, of course, just like the SPF, we believe in crime prevention.

So the best solution is this: if something seems too good to be true? It probably is.

Just check out the series of anti-scam videos we’ve done with SPF and you’ll understand:

Have a happy and safe shopping experience on Carousell, and may you never get scammed.