Reports of phishing scams involving fake buyers on Carousell in the month of December 2022 alone have surpassed the number of reports in the first eleven months of 2022, according to a news release from the Singapore Police Force (SPF).
How it works
The latest scam sees scammers posing as prospective buyers on the online marketplace.
In the guise of making payment, these scammers will ask sellers to key in their banking details on spoofed websites to facilitate payment.
According to SPF, there have been at least 975 victims with reported losses amounting to at least S$938,000 over the period of January 2022 to November 2022.
Since the beginning of December 2022, at least 1,115 victims have fallen prey to such scams with losses amounting to at least S$1 million.
Recently, a man's account of how he lost his savings to such a scam went viral on social media.
According to his Facebook post, the savings were meant for his daughter with special needs.
Difficult to recover when money moved overseas
Investigations have shown that a significant proportion of the reports lodged involved unauthorised overseas PayNow transfers.
SPF said that this is a "troubling trend" as the chances of recovery are slim once money is moved overseas.
Doing more to protect
The news release mentioned that key partners including Carousell and the Association of Banks in Singapore are implementing measures to protect their customers.
These measures include adding friction (resistance) into overseas PayNow transfers as the affected banks deem appropriate until this threat subsides.
Top image via Carousell's Glassdoor page.