SINGAPORE: A 32-year-old man has been arrested by the police for cheating people of their cash by using durians as bait.
Over the past month, the police have received several reports from victims saying they had been cheated by someone claiming to be selling durians.
The man is alleged to have failed to deliver the fruit after the victims made payment, the police said in a release on Wednesday (March 2).
The man was identified and arrested on Wednesday.
The police believe he is involved in another case of cheating using a similar method involving the fake sale of an electronic item. They did not specify what kind of electronic item.
The man is expected to be charged with the offence of cheating on Thursday. If convicted, he could be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.
The police would like to advise members of the public to take precautions when making online purchases.
They should purchase only from authorised sellers or reputable sources, especially for high-value items, and opt for buyer protection by using in-built payment options that release payment to the seller only upon delivery.
Whenever possible, buyers should avoid making advance payments or direct bank transfers to the seller, the police added.
“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,” the police said.
“They may also use a local bank account or provide a copy of a NRIC or driver's licence to make you believe that they are genuine sellers. Do not fall for it.” – The Straits Times (Singapore)/Asia News Network