SINGAPORE — At least 43 people have fallen prey to a job scam since April, with losses of $781,000 over the period, the Singapore Police Force said on Tuesday (30 August).
Scammers would reach out to victims via online messaging applications such as WhatsApp and tell them that they could earn commission by rating applications.
Once the victims agree to the job offer, they would be given a website link to register an account and asked to top it up by transferring cash into specified bank accounts maintained by unknown persons, said the police.
After the cash transfer, the equivalent USDT, or a cryptocurrency pegged to the US dollar, would be reflected in the victims’ accounts, and they could then start rating the applications.
Rating an application would require payment by victims in some USDT. Once the victim’s account is depleted, they would have to top up their account again by transferring cash to another unknown person.
"Initially, victims would be able to withdraw their commissions, which convinced them that the work was legitimate," said the police. They would later discover the scam when they could not withdraw their commission.
The statement from the police comes a day after the release of the mid-year crime statistics, which showed that there were 3,573 cases of job scams reported in the first half of this year, with the amount cheated totalling $58.5 million.
The police advised members of the public not to accept dubious job offers that offer good returns for minimal effort and not to send money to unverified sources.
They can call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 for information on such scams, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.
The police had previously issued advisories warning the public of various job scams. In May, they warned about spoofed messages offering job opportunities that were purportedly sent by e-commerce platforms, and a job scam targeting delivery couriers.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.