Thursday, December 7, 2023
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In a disconcerting revelation, the Singapore Police Force has disclosed that a deceptive online job scam has swindled a staggering amount of S$19.9 million from at least 1,399 victims since May this year. In a press statement, the police expressed their concern over the “persistence” of this scam variant and warned the public, urging them to remain vigilant.

The modus operandi employed by these scammers is both audacious and cunning. By enticing unsuspecting individuals with the promise of lucrative employment, the criminals exploit the desperation of job seekers and manipulate their trust. The initial contact often occurs through unsolicited messages on popular messaging platforms like WhatsApp or Telegram.

These deceitful messages extend a seemingly attractive proposition: participating in simple surveys or engaging in tasks that involve “boosting ratings” for product listings of online merchants. Lured by the prospect of rewards, victims are lured into creating accounts on fraudulent websites, believing they are embarking on a genuine work opportunity.

The police emphasized that after victims receive their first payment and commission, they are subsequently coerced into completing further tasks. In some instances, victims are instructed to provide positive ratings for specific product listings and then submit a screenshot of the review directly to the scammer through messaging apps.

In a further display of calculated manipulation, scammers also send weblinks to victims, encouraging them to place orders for specific items. However, they are instructed not to make payments through the designated website’s payment channels. Instead, victims are directed to transfer funds to bank accounts specified by the fraudsters.

The success of this variant of the scam can be attributed to its intricate nature, capitalizing on the vulnerabilities of unsuspecting individuals seeking employment. As victims gradually invest their time and effort, their trust deepens, making it harder for them to discern the fraudulent scheme unfolding before them.

The Singapore Police Force has urged the public to exercise caution when receiving unsolicited job offers, particularly those originating from unfamiliar sources. They have advised individuals to independently verify the authenticity of such opportunities and be vigilant against divulging personal information or making payments to unverified entities.

The impact of this fake online job scam variant extends beyond monetary losses. It erodes trust, disrupts lives, and undermines the faith individuals place in online platforms and opportunities. To combat this pervasive threat, law enforcement agencies are actively working to identify and apprehend the culprits behind these scams.

As the police continue their investigations, it is imperative for the public to remain informed and alert. By spreading awareness about these deceptive tactics and adopting a sceptical mindset, individuals can better shield themselves from falling victim to such nefarious schemes.


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