Social media scams cheated users of S$107,000 from Jan to Aug: Singapore police

FILE PHOTO: Getty Images

SINGAPORE — Scams involving fake Lazada and Shopee lucky draws on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have cheated users of at least S$107,000 between January and August.

The Singapore police said in a media statement on Thursday (12 September) that it received at least 90 such reports, whereby scammers would impersonate the victims’ friends or followers on Facebook and Instagram.

They would then ask the victims for their contact numbers and images of their credit or debit cards, on the pretext of helping them to sign up for lucky draws allegedly conducted by Lazada and Shopee to win money. Victims were also told to share the One-Time Password (OTP) that they received.

They eventually realised that they were cheated after discovering unauthorised card transactions on their accounts. Police have verified that there are no such lucky draws by Lazada and Shopee.

Scammers impersonating as Facebook friends

Separately, scammers are also known to have been impersonating victims’ friends on Facebook to ask victims for their mobile numbers and Grab OTP.

After providing the scammers with the 6-digit verification code, the victim would then lose access to his or her Grab account, which would then be used by the scammers to purchase Razer Gold, a form of virtual credits for online games.

The public is advised to adopt the following crime prevention measures:

  • Do not be impulsive: Beware of unusual requests from strangers or even social media contacts.

  • Do not believe: Be wary of claims of winning a prize, especially if there was no participation in any campaign or lucky draw. Always verify the authenticity of the request by contacting the friend who purportedly sent the social media messages. However, do not do so through the social media platform, as the account might have been taken over by scammers.

  • Do not give: Do not transfer money or give out personal information, bank account or credit/debit card details, and OTP to anyone, including family and friends.

Contact details to report scams

To provide any information related to such scams, please call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online. For urgent Police assistance, please dial 999.

The public may call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg for scam-related advice. Join the “Let’s fight scams” campaign by signing up as an advocate to receive up-to-date messages and share them with family and friends.


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