Singapore man arrested for hotel reservation scam

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times / Asia News Network): A man has been arrested for a hotel room reservation scam and will be charged in court on Thursday (December 30).

Police said they received a report on Tuesday from a victim who had not received a hotel room reservation after making payments to the man, 45.

Agents from Ang Mo Kio’s division established the man’s identity and arrested him within six hours of receiving the police report, they said in a statement Wednesday.

The man is said to be involved in other similar fraud cases and if convicted he faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a fine.

Police have reminded online shoppers to beware of unusually low-priced online products.

“If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Buy only from authorized sellers or reputable sources, especially for high value items,” they said.

Buyers should opt for buyer protection with built-in payment options that release payment to seller only on delivery.

If possible, avoid making prepayments or direct bank transfers to the seller, as these do not protect the buyer, police said.

Scammers can trick buyers to contact them directly through messaging platforms like WhatsApp or WeChat by offering them a better or faster deal if bank transfers are made to them directly, they added.

“They can also use a local bank account or provide a copy of an NRIC or driver’s license to make you believe they are real salespeople. Don’t fall for the trap.”

Those with information on such scams can call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit the information online.

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