|By Chua Hian Hou|
According to website operators, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of cheating attempts on their sites. –ST PHOTO: WANG HUI FEN
THE popularity of online shopping has drawn an increasing number of cheats here.
According to website operators, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of cheating attempts on their sites.
This month alone, at least four individuals were charged with various online-related cheating offences.
One was a 34-year-old woman arrested and charged last week with cheating 26 people of thousands of dollars. The victims had paid for non-existent prescription drugs, game consoles and shopping vouchers she had advertised at popular beauty and lifestyle forums here.
Another case involved a 40-year-old property agent who advertised a Toa Payoh room for rent on various property-related forums. She faces 42 cheating charges for taking tens of thousands of dollars from prospective tenants.
Mr Thomas Teo, director of local website SingaporeExpats.com, said it gets one cheating-related complaint every month, usually involving cellphone sales or vehicle and room rentals.
‘Online cheating has been around since the beginning of the Internet, but we’ve definitely seen more of them as our site became more popular,’ said Mr Teo, whose site was set up in 2002.
Popular parenting site SingaporeMotherhood’s administrator, Mr Ng Chin Leng, has also seen a growing number of cheats peddling products like branded handbags – which never existed – at his site.
Mr Ng attributes the rise in online cheats to ‘ignorance’ on the part of the perpetrators.
‘Many (cheats) think that just because they don’t say what their real name is online, they won’t get caught, so when they are short of money, they try their hand at it,’ he said.