News reports on scams are all over our social media feeds and the local papers. It can also be a hot conversation topic with our friends and family these days.
Recently, the attention is focused on the DHL scam, which we hope that Singaporeans are already well aware of. However, we have more than just that particular scam to worry about. In this article, we summarized 3 scams currently in Singapore:
#1 The Impersonation Scam
The DHL scam is often labeled an “impersonation scam”, but what we will be discussing seems more insidious. This scam takes various forms. It involves scammers impersonating as one of your trusted friends to get something out of you.
The impersonation scam that was mercilessly joked about by radio DJs was the Facebook Breast scam. A man hacked into the Facebook account of the victim’s friend, and messages her as the said friend. He later claimed that he’s working on a breast cancer project, requesting for the victim to send topless pictures for a breast cancer diagnosis.
The incentive offered to the victim for these pictures includes a brand new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and a $600 cash reward. The victim finally found out that she had been tricked when she texted her friend.
Other impersonation scams include those impersonating the police.
It may be intuitive to trust that the person on the other end is your friend. Your safest way to get out of this is to evaluate and spot certain odd behaviour of your friend on the social media platform. Friends that are closer to you would be contacting you through the usual means of communication such as Whatsapp or a phone call.
We also cannot help but wonder who would be willing to send topless photos of themselves even to a close friend?
Source: Home Team News
#2 The Internet Love Scam
Internet love scams are something not foreign to us at all.
It usually starts with someone adding you on Facebook, and starts a chat. This stranger engages you in long conversations over an extended period of time. Unfortunately, he/she lives in an imaginary land far far away overseas and lacks the money to come to Singapore for a meet up.
Having formed a strong emotional connection with the stranger. You let your emotions take over and send money to this online “lover” to get him/her here. However, only after multiple completed transactions, you do actually find out that it was a fraud.
In the end, you find yourself spending a huge amount of your savings on a lover, which you will never hear from again.
According to an article written by TNP, a woman in her 50s, Mary (name changed for privacy), lost $1.2mil after falling victim to a love scam. She desired romance because her husband was often absent.
A month after communicating, the man promised Mary that he would come to Singapore to live. He also sought her help in finding a suitable apartment to stay in.
Here comes the shady part.
Her lover required her to make a series of money transfers to ensure his smooth transition in relocating to Singapore. Excuses such as document processing and fees to safely get out of the airport cost her $6,000 and $50,000 respectively.
All other subsequent money transfers totalled up to about $1.2mil.
It is probably a bad idea to fall in love with a stranger through Facebook. Authorities recommended that you should not just befriend any stranger through an online platform.
Sounds like a statement that will make you roll your eyes and go, “Duh!” But it will surprise you how many of us would actually fall for such scam.
#3 Carousell Scams
In some Carousell transactions, depending on the item, a deposit is required by the seller to reserve the item for you. The reason behind deposits can be valid for some. Sellers sometimes encounter flaky buyers, which can be a frustrating experience. However, deposits usually range between $10 – $20. People who fall victim to the Carousell scam are the ones looking to purchase big ticket items, such as an iPhone.
Sellers may ask for a deposit amounting to a few hundred dollars. In a viral case we may all know, it was a 50% deposit for a $950 iPhone 6s. You can read all about it here. Fortunately, the keen buyer was alert enough to realize it was a scam. Through google, the buyer found out the shop was not located at a boarding pass only area, when the seller said it was (hence the insistence that the deposit must be bank transferred).
There are many sellers offering to sell a brand new iPhone, with the original box included. It sounds genuine to an interested buyer.
Don’t buy big ticket items on Carousell unless the reviews for the seller are excellent. When a deposit is demanded required by the seller, think of it as a sunk cost, and you are ready to lose the deposit. Arranging a meet up to inspect the product before paying is much safer for costly items through Carousell.
What are some other online scams that you encountered? Join this open Facebook Page to share with the rest of Singapore scams that you know of.
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