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Some S$430,000 lost to scams involving hotel room bookings, 2 people arrested in separate cases

SINGAPORE — Victims of various scams lost more than S$430,000 when booking hotel room packages and two people were nabbed for their alleged involvement in these transactions.

Screenshots of messages exchanged between a seller and buyer for hotel room bookings that are now under police investigations.

Screenshots of messages exchanged between a seller and buyer for hotel room bookings that are now under police investigations.

SINGAPORE — Victims of various scams lost more than S$430,000 when booking hotel room packages and two people were nabbed for their alleged involvement in these transactions.

In a news release on Thursday (Dec 16), the police said that a 45-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman have been arrested in separate cases.

In the first case, the police received multiple reports in December from victims who allegedly failed to get their hotel rooms despite making payment to an unknown seller.

The victims came across the man’s advertisement for the room bookings on e-marketplace Carousell and proceeded to reach out to him via WhatsApp.

They made payments through bank transfers and the PayNow digital application but did not get what they bought.

Officers from the Woodlands Police Division established the identity of the man through investigations and arrested him on Wednesday.

“Preliminary investigations revealed that the man was allegedly involved in at least 29 similar cases with total reported losses amounting to S$30,000,” the police said.

He will be charged on Friday with cheating offences.

If found guilty, he can be jailed up to 10 years and fined.

In the case involving the woman, the police received several reports this month from victims who were purportedly cheated by a seller who offered discounted room packages for numerous popular hotels in Singapore. The offers were posted on a social media platform.

Similar to the first case, the victims failed to get the rooms after making payments through bank transfers and PayNow.

Officers from the Commercial Affairs Department uncovered the identity of the woman and arrested her for cheating offences.

“She is currently assisting with investigations,” the police said.

The woman is believed to be involved in more than 300 “non-fulfilments of hotel room package bookings with total reported losses amounting to more than S$400,000”, they added.

The police warned that they take a serious view against those who may be involved in scams and frauds.

They stressed that such perpetrators will be dealt with in accordance with the law.

In a reminder to the public, the police said that people have to be careful when making online hotel bookings.

Among other reminders, the police also said that people should avoid making impulsive bookings and pay for such bookings only if they are from authorised or reputable sources.

Those with information on scams may call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.

Related topics

police crime court cheating hotels scam

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