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Singapore Cops Arrest 39 for Suspected Role in Job Scam

 

Singapore police have arrested 35 men and four women, aged between 16 and 65 over their alleged role in job and phishing scams involving Singapore Bicentennial commemorative notes. 

The individuals were nabbed during an islandwide anti-scam enforcement operation between Nov 22 and 26 that saw a total of 113 individuals investigated for their suspected role in over 900 jobs and phishing scams that led to more than S$20mil (RM61.87mil) in losses. 

According to Singapore police, the suspects had allegedly sold their bank accounts or gave their Singpass credentials to criminal syndicates in return for as much as $5,000 for each bank account sold or $400 for each set of Singpass credentials sold. However, most of them did not receive the money promised to them.

“Some were also found to have allegedly rented out their bank accounts to scammers or assisted them in carrying out bank transfers and withdrawals,” Singapore police stated, adding that investigations are ongoing. 

The victims were tricked after chancing upon advertisements offering quick cash on social media platforms and chat applications. The job scam required victims to order items from online platforms to improve sales volume. They would then be made to pay for the items via funds transfer to various bank accounts.

At the initial stage, victims would receive payment on top of a good commission, said the police. However, a real twist comes when victims spent large sums on their orders, and their job contact becomes uncontactable. Those targeted by the phishing scams received text messages from scammers informing them of their eligibility to receive free Singapore Bicentennial commemorative notes and would be directed to URL links that were allegedly spoofed. 

When victims clicked on the link, they would be redirected to malicious websites similar to the homepage of a purported bank’s Internet banking website and get fooled into coughing their banking details.

“Victims would only realize they had been scammed when they discovered unauthorized transfers of monies out of their bank accounts,” said the police. 

The police warned the public to remain vigilant and be wary of job advertisements that promise the convenience of remote working at an “unreasonably high salary”. The job seekers were also reminded not to click on URL links provided in unsolicited emails and text messages. 

“Legitimate businesses will not require job seekers to utilize their bank accounts to receive monies on behalf of the businesses. These acts are common ruses used by scammers to lure individuals into carrying out illicit payment transfers on their behalf. Always verify the authenticity of the information with the official website or sources, and never disclose personal or Internet banking details and one-time passwords to anyone, Singapore police advised.