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More than $18,000 lost by Singaporeans falling prey to scammers posing as their friends on Telegram

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Authorities have urged the public to exercise vigilance when dealing with unsolicited messages and requests on social media platforms, especially Telegram

SINGAPORE: A series of fraudulent activities on the social media platform Telegram has left at least 50 individuals deceived and robbed of a collective sum of over $18,000, according to the Singapore Police Force and the Singapore Cyber Security Agency.

The agencies have said in a joint statement that the victims were lured into a trap orchestrated by scammers who adopted the identities of others and manipulated them into divulging sensitive information.

Both agencies have warned the public regarding the dangers of falling prey to such impersonation scams and have shed light on the intricate modus operandi of these scammers.

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Typically, these fraudsters gain unauthorized access to Telegram accounts, which they subsequently use to initiate contact with victims while posing as acquaintances. By leveraging this impersonation tactic, they coax victims into sharing their personal mobile phone numbers and generating login codes, thereby providing the scammers with complete control over the compromised accounts.

Investigations have unearthed that the scammers have employed several tactics to manipulate victims into assisting them unwittingly. In some instances, victims are tricked into joining secret groups or made to believe they are aiding in locating someone.

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By coercing victims into taking snapshots of their chat histories, the scammers cunningly generate login codes without the victim’s knowledge, effectively granting them control over the compromised accounts.

Another sinister tactic these Telegram scammers employ involves convincing victims to verify or unlock accounts. Scammers falsely assert that victims are eligible for complimentary Telegram memberships in certain cases.

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Under the pretence of availing such a membership, victims are led to log into a counterfeit account, where they are urged to share personal information or click on suspicious links. This, in turn, allows the scammers to steal victims’ accounts outright.

In a repeated ploy, once the scammers gain access to these accounts, they methodically reach out to victims’ contacts, friends, and family members, soliciting funds or attempting to borrow money. Some scammers even resort to leveraging compromising photographs or videos to blackmail the victims.

The aftermath of these fraudulent activities has left victims grappling with the realization that their Telegram accounts have been compromised. They find themselves unable to regain control of their accounts or resolve the financial damages inflicted by scam artists.

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Authorities have urged the public to exercise vigilance when dealing with unsolicited messages and requests on social media platforms, especially Telegram. They have advised individuals to verify the sender’s identity through alternate means before sharing sensitive information or engaging in any financial transactions.

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Public members are encouraged to remain cautious and promptly report any suspicious activity to the authorities to curb the further proliferation of such scams.

 

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