$430,000 lost to job scams since start of May, say police

Victims received unsolicited spoofed messages sent by e-commerce platforms offering job opportunities. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - More than 50 victims have been swindled of at least $430,000 by job scams this month, said the police on Wednesday (May 11).

They received unsolicited spoofed messages sent by e-commerce platforms offering job opportunities.

These messages typically came via SMS, WhatsApp or other social media platforms and touted simple, but highly paid, affiliate marketing-related jobs.

For instance, they could be paid $2 for every product liked.

However, victims would first need to sign up for an account on a spoofed website resembling Lazada, a reputable online shopping site, before they could begin earning commissions.

Victims were allowed to withdraw their initial commissions, which made the scam seem more legitimate.

After withdrawing these commissions, victims would be promised commissions of up to 30 per cent if they were to purchase items on the website.

However, to make the purchase, they would have to transfer money to bank accounts belonging to unknown individuals.

These victims would eventually discover that they had been scammed when they were unable to withdraw from their accounts, or when the spoofed Lazada website was removed.

The police said on Wednesday that Lazada does not conduct recruitment via SMS, WhatsApp or Telegram chats.

It added: "Lazada will also never direct you to a third-party website nor request for your personal details to sign up for jobs."

Victims would receive unsolicited spoofed messages sent by e-commerce platforms offering job opportunities. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
The police said Lazada does not conduct recruitment via SMS, WhatsApp or Telegram chats. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

The public should also not download applications from unverified sources and send money to people they do not know personally.

The police reminded the public not to accept dubious job offers that promise lucrative returns for minimal effort.

The police reminded the public not to accept dubious job offers that promise lucrative returns for minimal effort. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

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

Those who have information regarding such scams can call police hotline 1800-255-0000, or submit a report at the iWitness website.

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