The Police would like to alert the public on scams involving illegal online betting websites and applications. In 2019, the Police received at least 13 reports of such scams, with total losses amounting to at least $874,000.
Victims often befriend scammers through online dating platforms such as Tinder, OkCupid and PakTor before they are introduced to online betting applications or websites. In some instances, victims were convinced by the scammers that these platforms contained loopholes which would allow those placing bets to reap easy profits. To place the bets, victims are required to open a betting account with the said platform. They would then be given a bank account number to deposit their money for use as betting credits, and could also cash out their winnings. However, the victims were subsequently told that their betting accounts had been frozen and that they would need to deposit more money in order to cash out their winnings. The scammers became uncontactable and the websites would be inaccessible after the additional monies were transferred.
Members of the public are advised to adopt the following crime prevention measures:
· Be wary when befriending strangers on any online platform. They may not be who they claim to be;
· It is an offence to place bets on illegal online betting sites or applications. Do not engage in such services and report them to the authorities; and
· If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Victims may be lured with the promise of easy winnings. However, such platforms are often programmed and rigged by the scammers to artificially give that illusion.
If you wish to provide any information related to such scams, please call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. For urgent Police assistance, please dial ‘999’.
You may call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg for scam-related advice. 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. Together, we can help stop scams and prevent our loved ones from becoming the next victim of scam.
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
26 March 2020 @ 11:30 AM