169 victims lose $2.7 million to new job scam variant involving travel reviews

The scammers impersonated legitimate travel companies such as (from left) Anywhr, IPC Group, and American Lloyd. PHOTOS: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - At least 169 people have lost a total of $2.7 million to a new job scam variant which involves victims supposedly earning commission by reviewing travel attractions and packages.

In an advisory on Thursday evening (March 31), the police said victims received unsolicited messages via messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram from scammers claiming to be job recruiters.

The scammers claimed to be recruiting for jobs that involved reviewing travel attractions and packages, and promised high commissions.

The police said the scammers impersonated legitimate travel companies such as Anywhr, Sojern, American Lloyd, IPC Group, and Oriental Travel and Tours.

Victims were instructed to sign up for accounts on fake websites made to look like the real ones, and were told to top up their accounts with money in order to review the attractions and to earn commissions.

They were directed by the scammers to make the top-ups by transferring money to bank accounts belonging to unknown individuals.

"Victims would initially be convinced that their work was legitimate as they were able to withdraw the commissions and would thus continue to top up their accounts as directed by the scammers," said the police.

"Victims would realise that they had been scammed only when they were unable to withdraw money from their accounts."

The police added that members of the public should not accept dubious job offers, and to always verify the authenticity of a job offer with the company mentioned.

Job scams were the most prevalent form of scams last year, with more than 4,550 cases reported and at least $91 million lost to the scammers.

Members of the public who have information regarding such scams may call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit a report online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness

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