Victims of fake Lazada campaigns have lost over S$14,000

Public warned to transact business only on online shopping websites, avoid third-party channels and be wary of e-commerce fraudsters.

Facebook screengrab/ Singapore Police Force

Singapore — Numerous victims have been robbed of over S$14,000 in total by scammers promising cash from fake prize campaigns linked to online shopping giant Lazada, police said in public alert on Tuesday, May 14.

There have been at least 14 cases of these scams reported to the Singapore Police Force (SPF) since January. The police said that these fake Lazada campaigns are called “Lazada Raffle,” “Lazada Gift Money,” “Lazada Lucky Draw,” or simply, “Lazada Campaign.”

The warning the SPF issued can be seen on their Facebook page.

Lazada also released a statement to the media on Tuesday, May 14, saying it had nothing to do with these fraudulent dealings.

Perpetrators in these scams pretend to be friends or followers of Instagram account holders. They then urge these Instagram users to sign up for campaigns on Lazada to win cash prizes.

In order to receive these cash prizes, target victims are asked to give their phone numbers, pictures of their credit and debit cards, and bank account one-time passwords (OTPs) to these “friends” and “followers”. Victims who fall for this scam usually discover their loss upon receiving their credit or debit card statements later on.

According to Lazada, it is “in no way associated with these scams”. A representative from the popular online shopping website said, “Customer safety is our top priority. All our campaigns and contests are only held on our website, app and social media accounts.”

The representative reminded clients that they should only transact business on the Lazada site itself: “We would like to remind customers to only conduct transactions on our platforms; never via third-party channels.”

The police also told the public to be careful in these matters, telling people not to reveal personal information including credit card, debit card, and bank account details, and to exercise caution when receiving unusual requests from social media contacts and strangers.

“Be wary of claims that you have won a prize, especially if you have not participated in any campaign or lucky draw,” the police said.

The police are also asking anyone who would like to share information with them regarding such scams to call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit info online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. For urgent police assistance, please dial 999.

Additionally, people who need advice or have questions about these scams may call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg.

In another statement to the media, the police announced that a 31-year-old man is now in custody for his alleged involvement in at least 10 separate instances of e-commerce scams. The man is said to have robbed different victims of over S$37,000.

The accused posed as a seller offering room rentals on iLivesg.com and Facebook. Numerous reports were filed against him in April by those who were victimised by his fraudulent scheme.

The man had convinced his victims to pay him a deposit, after which he would go missing.

He will be charged in court on Wednesday, May 15, and could be jailed for as many as 10 years and fined, should be he found guilty. /TISG

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