Prevent Crimes

Crime Alerts

Internet Love Scam

In the Internet love scam, the scammers, who could be foreigners, will befriend the victims through websites such as those related to online dating. There are various ways in which they perpetrate their scams. They may claim to be in some form of financial situation and request for help. They may also claim to be detained by the authorities and request for financial assistance. The victims will usually be asked to transfer a sum of money to a foreign bank account. After the victims have transferred the money, the scammers may cease contact.

Members of public are advised to be aware of such scams and to adopt the following measures:

  • Be wary of strangers who want to befriend you online, especially when they start asking for money;
  • Do not remit or transfer money to people whom you do not know well enough; and
  • Call Police immediately at '999' to report the case.

Online Purchase Scam

The culprits would post advertisements on online shops posing as sellers of smart phones, tablets or any other gadget. The selling prices of these gadgets are usually much lower than the market prices, thus making them attractive to potential buyers. Victims are then instructed to make advanced payments to purchase the goods. However, the culprits never intended to deliver the goods.

In some cases, culprits would further deceive their victims by claiming that the goods have been delivered wrongly or are stuck at the Customs. Further payments are then asked from the victims. Victims typically accede to the requests for further payment but end up not receiving the goods.

Avoid being a victim by taking note of the following:

  • Make payments only after the goods have been delivered to you;
  • If advanced payments are necessary, transact only with those whom you know and trust;
  • Be sure of who the company or person is and where they are physically located, even if a local number is used. Businesses operating in cyberspace may be located in another part of the world. Resolving problems with someone unfamiliar may be more complicated in cross-border transactions;
  • Offers that are too good to be true are suspicious;
  • Check the track record of the company/seller. Ask the company/seller for their list of clients/customers. Make inquiries with the clients/customers on the background and services provided by the company/seller. Be wary that fraud artists can appear and disappear overnight in cyberspace, so the lack of a complaint record is no guarantee of legitimacy; and
  • Never give your bank account numbers, credit card numbers and personal information to anyone you don’t know or have not checked out. Do not provide information that is not necessary to make the purchase.

Misuse Of Bank Account Through Internet Love Scam

The culprit would first befriend individuals through online platforms such as online dating or social networking sites. The culprit would then claim that he owns a business in his home country, but is unable to receive funds from his customers. The culprit would seek help from individuals to receive funds from his customers and to transfer the funds received to another overseas bank account. This is usually done almost immediately after the funds are received.

At times, the culprit may even offer individuals a cut of the transaction.

Members of public are advised to take note of the following:

  • Your personal bank account should only be used for your personal banking needs. Do not help other persons or other entities you have only met online to accept or transfer funds especially if you do not know the sources of the funds. By doing so, you may be committing a crime, by aiding and abetting a criminal in receiving the proceeds of crime. Anyone who assists others to move the proceeds of crime may be liable for criminal offences whether or not there was monetary benefit; and
  • Ignore or decline any request by online acquaintances or persons unknown to you to allow your bank account to be used for incoming fund transfers, especially if a commission is offered. Offers that are too good to be true are suspicious.

Misuse Of Bank Account Through Job Application Scam

Scammers recruit victims through emails or advertisements offering high-paying, home-based jobs. As part of these jobs, victims are asked to open new bank accounts that will be used to accept payments and transfer money out of Singapore.

Avoid being a victim by taking note of the following:

  • Ensure that your personal bank account is used only for your personal banking needs;
  • Never help anyone accept or transfer money, especially if you do not know the source of the money. By doing so, you may be committing a crime by helping the criminal receive the proceeds of a crime;
  • Be aware that anyone who helps others move the proceeds of a crime may be liable for the criminal offences, whether or not they have benefitted from the money; and
  • Never allow your bank account to be used for incoming money transfers, especially if you are offered a commission for it.

Related Links

Last Updated on 13 May 2016