Online Auction Ruse

How it is done

After hijacking the online auction account of a legitimate seller by fraudulently acquiring his password, the fraudster will offer sought-after items at very low prices.


Last September, watch collector Bernard Tan, 53, searched online auction sites for a 1970s Rolex watch. He contacted an auction site in the United States, which had many ‘testimonials from satisfied customers’.

He wired US$4,200 (S$6,400) to a bank in San Francisco for a watch he wanted, as instructed. Ten days later, a rusty 12cm iron strip arrived.


Internet auction sites are still a high risk, especially when expensive items are involved. More tips can be found on

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