Police probing alleged investment scam on Facebook promising to double money in 3 months

One victim said that as many as 165 people have fallen for the alleged scam.
One victim said that as many as 165 people have fallen for the alleged scam.PHOTO: COURTESY OF MS TAN

SINGAPORE - The police are investigating an alleged investment scam on Facebook that claimed it could double an investor's money in three months.

One victim, who wanted to be known only as Ms Tan, told The Straits Times on Sunday (March 4) that as many as 165 people could have fallen for the alleged scam.

The 21-year-old sales assistant made a police report on Friday, more than four months after transferring $2,000 on Oct 31 last year to a man claiming to be an investment consultant.

The man started putting up a series of Facebook posts in the second half of 2017, in which he promised to double investors' money within three months if they were willing to trust him.

A friend had introduced Ms Tan to the "investment opportunity".

In January, after the three-month period had passed, Ms Tan approached the man for payment but she was told it would be delayed as he had been hospitalised for kidney stones.

Later, he claimed that he had a bank transfer limit of $50,000 a day and could only pay a handful of investors at a time.

It was only after she came across comments on his Facebook page from other victims asking for their money back did Ms Tan realise that she may have been cheated.

Earlier this week, she was added into a WhatsApp chat group comprising about 10 victims. The number has since swelled to over 160 people.

"Now, there are about 165 people in the group. In total, the amount we put in could be $1 million," said Ms Tan, adding that the victims had entrusted the man with varying amounts of up to $100,000 each.

According to screenshots that Ms Tan sent to ST, the man said in a Facebook post on Feb 7 that he was in South Korea for work.

He claimed in a subsequent post that his mobile phone line was down and that he would need more time to return the money, while his most recent post on March 1 said he would be back in Singapore on Monday.

In response to queries from ST, the police confirmed that a report had been lodged and that investigations are ongoing.

Meanwhile, Ms Tan said she has all but given up hope that she will get her money back.

"The chance is slim as there appears to be so many other victims, and the amount of money that I 'invested' is quite little compared to them," she added.