118 People Scammed When Purchasing iPhone Online, Police Reminds Public To Be Discerning

118 People Scammed When Purchasing iPhone Online, Police Reminds Public To Be Discerning


118 Scammed Purchasing iPhone Online In First 4 Days Of October

About a month ago, Apple unveiled the long-awaited new iPhone 14 and sales began shortly after, with prices starting from S$1,299.

In an attempt to get the gadget at a lower price, many turned to online resellers.

118 scammed purchasing iphone

Source: Newsweek, for illustration purposes only

Unfortunately, this backfired for some.

On Tuesday (4 Oct), the Singapore Police Force (SPF) shared that in the first four days of October, at least 118 people fell victim to scams involving iPhone sales.

The total losses from these e-commerce frauds amount to over S$389,000.

Scammers ask for money in advance

In October 2022 alone, at least 118 people fell prey to e-commerce scams involving the sales of iPhones.

Source: Victor Serban on Unsplash, for illustration purposes only

The police shared that in these cases, victims would be enticed by offers posted by sellers on platforms like Carousell.

These sellers would then instruct the victims to contact them via phone calls or video calls.

After both parties agree on a price, the seller would then ask the victim to transfer the money to their bank account before specifying a pick-up location.

The victims would then proceed to these locations, but the seller would be nowhere to be found.

Police urge public to be discerning online shoppers

The recent spate of incidents has prompted the police to remind the public to be discerning online shoppers.

This is even more important when ordering popular electronics, such as the new iPhone, from third-party resellers.

They urged people to remain vigilant as scammers might ask online shoppers to make advance payments with no intention of delivering the product.

When buying electronic products online, the public is advised to only purchase from authorised sellers or reputable sources.

If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.

Customers should also get buyer protection by using in-built payment options that release payment to sellers only upon delivery.

They should avoid making advance payments or direct bank transfers as this does not offer protection.

Sometimes, scammers might try to offer buyers a better deal if direct bank transfers are made to them.

To convince customers that they’re genuine sellers, they might also use a local bank account or provide a copy of their NRIC or driver’s licence.

However, the police urged the public not to fall for such tricks.

If you have information related to such crimes or are in doubt, do call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000.

You can also submit this information online via iWitness.

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at [email protected].

Featured image adapted from Newsweek.


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