90 people duped into sending money, buying gift cards for their 'friends' over WhatsApp

In their advisory, the police urged the public to beware of unusual requests received over WhatsApp, even if the requests were sent by their contacts.
In their advisory, the police urged the public to beware of unusual requests received over WhatsApp, even if the requests were sent by their contacts.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - At least 90 people have fallen for scams involving compromised WhatsApp accounts this year.

The police on Thursday (April 4) issued an advisory on the resurgence of such scams, where victims are duped into transferring money after receiving a WhatsApp message from a friend's account which has been taken over by scammers.

Some victims also sent Money Online points, bought gift cards and shared the passwords to these cards with the scammers. The gift cards are then sold online.

The police said that victims typically receive a WhatsApp message, where their "friend" asks them to send over a six-digit verification code that they would have received via SMS.

The victims lose access to their WhatsApp accounts after providing the scammers with the verification codes.

In their advisory, the police urged the public to beware of unusual requests received over WhatsApp, even if the requests were sent by their contacts.

The public should always call their friend to verify the authenticity of the request.

 

They should also protect their WhatsApp accounts by enabling the two-step verification feature.

Those who wish to provide any information related to such scams may call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.

The public can also call the anti-scam helpline on 1800-722-6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg.