The Police have observed an increase in a new variant of scam where scammers posed as buyers on online marketplaces. Since October 2021, at least 44 victims fell prey to such scams, with losses amounting to about $35,000.
In these cases, scammers would allegedly approach victims on online marketplaces and express interest in purchasing items that victims were selling. After agreeing to the sale of the item, the scammer would request for the victims to make payment via PayNow. Thereafter, the victims would receive an email from the online marketplace, indicating that payment had been made but they are required to access the phishing URL link provided to receive payments. Victims who accessed the phishing URL links would have been led to fake webpages allegedly impersonating that of banks. Victims would then be instructed to login to their bank accounts to receive the payment. Victims would only realise that they have been scammed when they discovered unauthorised transactions made to their bank accounts.
Members of the public are advised to follow these crime prevention measures:
- Verify buyer’s profile on online marketplaces through reviews and ratings;
- Do not click on URL links provided in unsolicited emails and text messages;
- Always verify the authenticity of the information with the official website or sources, for instance to check the sender’s email address and verify the authenticity of such mode of payment with the respective online marketplaces;
- Never disclose your personal or Internet banking details and OTP to anyone; and
- Report any fraudulent transactions to your bank immediately.
If you have any information relating to such crimes or if you are in doubt, please call the Police Hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. If you require urgent Police assistance, please dial ‘999’.
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688. Join the ‘Spot the Signs. Stop the Crimes’ 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.
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
23 November 2021 @ 12:00 PM