Between January 2018 to January 2019, the Police have received at least 42 reports of Facebook impersonation scams. The total amount cheated was at least S$1 million.

In such cases, the victims were contacted via compromised Facebook accounts belonging to their friends, introducing the victims to various types of grants. The victims were then informed that to receive the grant, they had to provide their personal details and transfer money to bank accounts or remit overseas. The victims eventually realised that they were cheated after verifying with their actual Facebook friends.

Members of the public are advised to adopt the following crime prevention measures:

Beware of unusual requests or text messages, even if they were sent by your social media contacts;

Be wary of get-rich-quick offers that ask you to transfer money in return for a greater fortune. If in doubt, verify the authenticity of the request or text message by contacting your friend, but do not do so through the social media platform as the account might have been taken over by scammers;

Do not transfer money or give out your personal information, credit/debit card details and bank account details to unknown individuals.

If you wish to provide any information related to such scams, please call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. If you require urgent Police assistance, please dial '999'.

To seek scam-related advice, you may call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg. Join the 'let's fight scams' 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 of scam.

Source: Singapore Police Force