online scams

FACT CHECK: ‘Promo sale’ of premium luggage at Changi airport is a scam – police

Fiona Tan

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FACT CHECK: ‘Promo sale’ of premium luggage at Changi airport is a scam – police
Several Facebook ads are promoting a supposed collaboration between iShopChangi and Rimowa for the latter’s 125th anniversary celebration. The Singapore Police Force says this is a phishing scam.

Claim: As part of its 125th anniversary, luggage brand Rimowa is collaborating with iShopChangi Singapore to sell its suitcases for only S$4 to the first 1,000 online buyers.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The posts promoting the supposed collaboration appear legitimate as they come from Facebook pages that impersonate iShopChangi, Changi Airport’s online duty-free shopping platform, using the company’s logo as their profile picture.

The pages also have a sizeable following, with one having 20,000 likes and followers.

One of the posts shows a photo of a silver Rimowa suitcase surrounded by cardboard boxes with the Rimowa logo. The text overlay on the photo reads “SPECIAL PRICE $4 | Hybrid Collection.” The post caption says that only the first 1,000 suitcases can be redeemed at the S$4 “special price” until December 20, 2023. It also included a shortened URL for interested buyers to click on.

The facts: The Singapore Police Force (SPF) announced on December 28 that iShopChangi and Rimowa are not collaborating, and the promotional offer is not real.

Those who clicked on the Facebook advertisement or post were redirected to phishing websites that required their contact information and debit or credit card details to pay for the luggage. They would only realize they have been scammed after unauthorized transactions have been made, the SPF said. (READ: Phishing 101: How to spot and avoid phishing)

At least 19 people had fallen victim to the phishing scam and lost at least S$7,000 in total in December 2023, the police added.

Additionally, this scam comes on the heels of a similar luggage scam, where 14 victims had lost at least S$799 in total to scammers pretending to be “Singapore Airlines Travel” or “Singapore Changi.”

Official advisory: On December 29, the official iShopChangi Facebook page put out a post alerting the public about the fake Facebook pages.

“These advertisements and posts are not legitimate, and we would like to advise members of public not to fall prey and to exercise caution when revealing sensitive data to unverified sources,” the post read.

The official iShopChangi Facebook page has a blue checkmark, the verified badge from Meta, and has 13,000 likes and 15,000 followers. The shopping platform’s official website is www.iShopChangi.com. Members of the public are advised to contact enquiry@changiairport.com for clarification. Rappler.com

Fiona Tan is a #FactsMatter Journalism Fellow for 2023-2024

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. You may also report dubious claims to #FactsFirstPH tipline by messaging Rappler on Facebook or Newsbreak via Twitter direct message. You may also report through our Viber fact check chatbot. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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