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Scammers cheat S$107,000 by impersonating victims’ FB & IG friends: S’pore police

Be careful.

Guan Zhen Tan | September 12, 05:38 pm

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The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has received at least 90 reports of scams involving fake Lazada and Shopee lucky draws, with victims cheated of at least S$107,000 in total.

The reports were made between January and August 2019.

In a press release by the SPF on September 12, victims were contacted by scammers on social media platforms Facebook and Instagram.

Scammers would impersonate as the victims’ friends or followers on the platforms.

Afterwards, they would message victims to ask for their contact numbers and images of credit or debit cards.

They would explain that they were trying to help them sign up for lucky draws supposedly conducted by Lazada and Shopee to win money.

The police had verified that there were no lucky draws of such sort by Lazada and Shopee.

Victims were then told to share the One Time Password (OTP) that they received, and would realise that they were being cheated after discovering unauthorised card transactions on their accounts.

Screenshot courtesy of the Singapore Police Force
Screenshot via Mothership staff

Don’t be impulsive in sharing details

The scammers impersonating as the friends of the victims on Facebook have also been reported to ask victims for their mobile numbers and Grab OTP.

Victims would lose access to their Grab accounts after providing the scammers with the 6-digit verification code, and the account would be used to purchase Razer Gold, a form of virtual credit used for purchases within online games.

In the press release, the Police advised members of the public to adopt the following measures to prevent themselves from being scammed

  • 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.

Information related to such scams can be reported to the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submitted online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.

For scam-related advice, you can call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg.

If you require urgent Police assistance, you may dial ‘999’.

Top image adapted via Singapore Police Force and a Mothership staff

About Guan Zhen Tan

Guan Zhen misses a time when the McDonald's at White Sands had two floors. If not listening to visual kei bands and doodling, she's probably thinking about how Ra is rowing his sun boat into the darkness of the night.

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