At least $1 million lost to Facebook impersonation scams offering grants since January 2018

The police said that they had received at least 42 reports where victims were contacted on Facebook and duped into transferring their money to the scammers.
The police said that they had received at least 42 reports where victims were contacted on Facebook and duped into transferring their money to the scammers.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - At least $1 million was lost to Facebook impersonation scams from January last year to this month, the police said on Friday (Feb 15).

In an advisory, the police said that they had received at least 42 reports where victims were contacted on Facebook and duped into transferring their money to the scammers.

Using compromised Facebook accounts belonging to the victims' friends, the scammers enticed victims with various types of grants.

They added that to receive the grants, the victims would have to provide their personal details and transfer money to bank accounts or remit it overseas.

The police said that the victims only realised that they were cheated after verifying with their actual Facebook friends.

To guard against falling for such scams, the police advised the public to adopt these measures:

 - Beware of unusual requests or text messages, even if they were sent by your social media contacts.

 
 
 

- Be wary of get-rich-quick offers that ask you to transfer money in return for a greater fortune. If in doubt, verify the authenticity of the request or text message by contacting your friend, but do not do so through the social media platform as the account might have been taken over by scammers.

- Do not transfer money or give out your personal information, credit or debit card details and bank account details to people you do not know.

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

For urgent police assistance, call 999.

To seek scam-related advice, the public may call the anti-scam helpline on 1800- 722-6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg