Singapore – Technological advancements is both a blessing and a curse. The latter especially when it is used for disrespectful purposes such as scamming other people. A new modus operandi has surfaced wherein scammers pretend to be Google or Apple employees and were able to steal at least S$15,700 from various victims in a span of one week from December 13 to 20.
The target for this scam were convenience stores with the flow of events as follows.
The personnel from a convenience store would receive a call from a supposed agent of Google or Apple. The latter would claim that the company is currently facing numerous cases of failed transactions revolving Apple iTunes and Google Play gift cards. The agents would tell the staff that their customers were not getting the monetary value of the gift card and they are calling to conduct an investigation and further verification on the matter. Being concerned, the convenience store personnel would then freely give the activation codes from actual gift cards being sold in hopes that the problem would be solved.
Once the number has been given, the Google or Apple employees would inform the staff that they will confirm with their “main office” and would return the call once a verification was made. Of course, once the call has ended, the numbers were as good as stolen cash.
The police are calling all retailers to be extra cautious when receiving calls from strangers even if they claim to be coming from actual veritable companies. One way to avoid being scammed is to contact the supplier of the gift cards and other products directly and acquire a list of authorized numbers and representatives when conducting transactions over the phone.
FB user Allan Tan has also given a suggestion to further enhance security by insisting on video calls when there is a possible scam taking place.
Meanwhile, Choi Yue Peng commented that scamming is reaching new levels.
Singapore has an anti-scam hotline which can be reached at 1800-722-6688 or through www.scamalert.sg for more information on scams.