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Tricks or treats? More than S$21,500 cheated within a month from USS Halloween online tickets scam

Tricks or treats? More than S$21,500 cheated within a month from USS Halloween online tickets scam
Between Aug 30 and Sept 29 this year, there have been at least 35 reports of online purchase scams cases involving USS Halloween tickets. Photo: TODAY file photo.

Tricks or treats? More than S$21,500 cheated within a month from USS Halloween online tickets scam

SINGAPORE – More than S$21,500 have been cheated from victims who fell prey to Universal Studios Singapore (USS) Halloween tickets online purchase scam, the police said in an advisory issued on Saturday (Oct 7).

Between Aug 30 and Sept 29 this year, there has been at least 35 reports of such scams – a slight increase from last year’s 30 –where the culprits failed to deliver the tickets after receiving payments from the victims. 

In each case, the amounts ranged from S$45 and S$7,000.

Tricksters would ask the victims for advanced payments either to be paid as a deposit or in full before agreeing to hand them the tickets. However after receiving the payments, these scammers did not deliver the tickets to the victims and eventually became uncontactable.

There were also cases where the tricksters gave fake tickets to the victims, who only realised subsequently that they have been cheated after they were denied entry.

The police advise the public to take crime prevention measures such as arranging for a physical meet-up with the seller to verify the authenticity of the tickets before making payment, and purchase tickets only from authorised sellers.

Meanwhile, the police also said it has observed a significant increase in reports of online scam cases. There were almost 250 reports in August, about a 50 per cent increase from the previous month. Majority of these online purchase scams were advertised on online marketplace Carousell and social media platform Facebook.

“The police would like to remind members of the public to be wary when making online purchases, especially those involving hotel room reservations, tourist attractions and concert tickets,” the advisory read.