Since January 2017, more than 40 people were duped in scams related to online payments system PayPal, said the Singapore Police Force in a release on Tuesday (13 June).
Posing as interested buyers, the scammers contacted the victims after they had posted items for sale or property for rent online. The scammers then proceeded to send fake emails in the name of PayPal or reputable banks to the victims, making them believe payment had been made.
The scammers would then request for the items to be shipped overseas and the victims told to show proof of shipment before they could receive payment. However, the victims did not receive the payments in the end.
“In some of the cases, the victims were duped into making fictitious administrative payments such as for the ‘activation of PayPal accounts’ in order for them to receive payment,” police said.
The police advise members of the public to adopt preventive measures against such scams. These include verifying that payment has indeed been made before sending items, and not trusting emails even if the address from which they originate appears to be legitimate.
Attachments or software programs attached in such emails should also not be downloaded as they could leave devices vulnerable to hackers.
Personal information such as details of credit or debit cards, bank accounts, and email accounts should not be given out. The police said PayPal would send a request to login safely if they really need any personal information.
The police urge members of the public to call its hotline at 1800-255-0000 if they wish to provide information. Alternatively, they can submit the information online.
Those who need urgent police assistance should call 999 while those who need scam-related advice can call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg.
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