Singapore—The country’s police force issued an advisory regarding scammers on social media, warning everyone that people have been cheated out of at least S$107,000 from January through August this year.
On its website as well as its Facebook account, the Singapore Police Force wrote a post entitled “BEWARE OF SCAMMERS IMPERSONATING AS YOUR FRIEND ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM”
Apparently in the first eight months of the year, Police have received at least 90 reports regarding scams that specifically involve Lazada and Shopee luck draws.
The modus operandi of these scammers was to contact their victims via social media platforms Instagram or Facebook.
All in all, scammers have managed to cheat people of at least S$107,000.
The police explained how these kinds of scams work:
“In these cases, scammers would impersonate as the victims’ friends or followers on Facebook and Instagram. They would then ask the victims for their contact numbers and images of their credit or debit cards on the pretext of helping them to sign up for lucky draws allegedly conducted by Lazada and Shopee to win money. Victims were also told to share the One-Time Password (OTP) that they received. They eventually realised that they were cheated after discovering unauthorised card transactions on their accounts. The Police have verified that there are no such lucky draws by Lazada and Shopee.”
Apparently, scammers who pretend to be the friends of their intended victims also asked for their cell phone numbers and Grab OTPs.
“Separately, scammers impersonating as the victims’ friends on Facebook have also been known to ask victims for their mobile numbers and Grab OTP. After providing the scammers with the 6-digit verification code, the victim would then lose access to his or her Grab account, which would then be used by the scammers to purchase Razer Gold, a form of virtual credits for online games.”
The police have asked the public to adapt the following steps that would prevent these crimes from recurring and finding even more victims.
“Don’t be impulsive – Beware of unusual requests from strangers or even your social media contacts;
Don’t believe – Be wary of claims that you have won a prize, especially if you have not participated in any campaign or lucky draw. Always verify the authenticity of the request by contacting your friend, but do not do so through the social media platform as the account might have been taken over by scammers;
Don’t give – Do not transfer money or give out your personal information, bank account or credit/debit card details, and One-Time Password (OTP) to anyone, including family and friends.”
The Police also said that members of the public who would like to relay any information regarding this type of scam should call their hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.
Individuals who require urgent assistance from the Police should call 999.
People who need to get scam-related advice should call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg.
The Police is also encouraging the public to join the ‘let’s fight scams’ campaign at www.scamalert.sg/fight “by signing up as an advocate to receive up-to-date messages and share them with your family and friends.”
The advisory ends with the Police encouraging the “public to help stop scams and prevent our loved ones from becoming the next victim.” -/TISG