SINGAPORE - Scammers are preying on people who post their game accounts for sale online, tricking them into paying to "unfreeze" fake e-wallet accounts.
The scammers would express interest in purchasing victims' gaming accounts and direct victims to fake websites to create the e-wallets to receive payment, the police said on Tuesday (Sept 28).
Some fake websites used are baowushouyou.com, bianjieshouyou.com, 85shouyou.com and xinyushouyou.com, where "shouyou" refers to mobile games.
When applying to create the e-wallets, victims would come across a "Terms and Conditions" page indicating that a fee would be incurred if there were errors in their account application form.
After setting up their e-wallets, victims would receive WhatsApp calls or messages from numbers typically starting with "+6011". This is the country code for Malaysia.
The caller, who usually spoke in Mandarin, would claim to be a customer service officer from the e-wallet company and tell the victims their e-wallet account had been frozen due to errors in their account application.
After the "buyers" had purportedly paid into the fake e-wallet account for the game accounts, the victims would be told to make a fund transfer to bank accounts provided in order to unfreeze their e-wallet accounts to withdraw the funds.
In some cases, victims were asked to transfer more money, as the initial amount transferred was incorrect. They realised they had fallen prey to a scam when they were unable to withdraw the funds from the e-wallet and the buyer became uncontactable. The victims still retain their gaming accounts.
Screenshots from a victim showed scammers telling him to transfer $500 in order to unfreeze the $500 paid to his account by the "buyer" after having made an "error" in his application.
But after the transfer, the scammer used technical language to say the instructions were for the victim to have transferred $501 instead, and his account had been frozen for the second time. To unfreeze his $1,000, he would have to transfer $2,000.
Police said the public should be wary of dubious websites claiming to provide e-wallet services, as well as any requests for fund transfers to strangers' bank accounts.
Those with information related to such crimes can call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at the iWitness website.
Those who require urgent police assistance can call 999.
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit the Scam Alert webstite or call the Anti-Scam Hotline on 1800-722-6688.