The Police have continued to see an increase of victims falling prey to job scams. Between January and June 2021, at least $6.5 million had been lost in job scams, where largest sum cheated in a single case was about $676,000.

The Police have observed two variants of jobs scams:

I. In the first variant, victims were told to download fake mobile applications to grab the jobs through the application. Thereafter, they would be instructed to top-up funds into their account on the applications by transferring the money to bank accounts provided or to convert the amount into cryptocurrency and transfer them into wallets provided by the scammer. As scammers would have allegedly promised victims their commission after a certain number of tasks have been completed, the amount will then be reflected in their mobile application accounts. However, the victims then realised that they have been scammed when they were unable to withdraw the money from these accounts.

II. In the second variant, victims would receive a warning letter via WhatsApp and be pressured into making further fund transfers to bank accounts or cryptocurrency wallets provided of they have chosen to discontinue with these jobs. The letter would indicate that their mobile application accounts would be frozen and legal actions could be taken against them if they were to discontinue with the ‘job’. The scammers have also included the emblems of Singapore Police Force, Singapore’s Coat of Arms as well as the Supreme Court on the warning letters issued to victims to enhance the credibility of their ruse. Victims would eventually realise that they have been scammed when they do not receive their commission after completing the tasks given to them by the scammers.

Members of the public should be wary of the following red flags when encountering such situations:

i. Jobs that offer lucrative commissions that are simply too good to be true;

ii. Unsolicited messages advertising jobs received from unknown numbers or unknown foreign numbers; and

iii. Request to transfer funds to bank accounts or cryptocurrency wallets belonging to individuals they had not met in person.

The Police would like to advise members of the public on the following:

i. Do not accept dubious job offers that offer lucrative returns for minimal effort. If an offer is too good to be true, it probably is;

ii. Never download dubious applications from unverified sources; and

iii. Never send money to anyone whom you do not know or have not met in person before.

If you have information related to such crimes or if you are in doubt over whether a message received is a scam, please call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. Please dial ‘999’ if you require urgent Police assistance.

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.

Source: Singapore Police Force