SINGAPORE - There have been multiple reports of victims being cheated of their money by scammers operating on Chinese social media app WeChat, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said on Tuesday (March 7).
In all, more than $70,000 was lost by the victims in these cases.
The scammers had promised to sell various items such as online gaming credits or foreign currency at attractive rates.
In the statement, the police also specified the tactics used by these scammers. For example, victims playing Chinese online games such as The Legend of the Condor Heroes would encounter a pop-up window advertising the sale of in-game credits at an attractive discount.
This pop-up would instruct the victims to add the scammer on WeChat, before the victims were asked to register for accounts on a website so they could receive the credits.
The registration would require the victims' personal particulars and bank account details.
Inevitably, the scammers would fail to deliver the in-game credits after the victims had paid via online payment networks such as Alipay or MyCard, and also become uncontactable on WeChat.
Police had the following advice for members of the public:
- Exercise caution when responding to online advertisements. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Bear in mind that the party you are dealing with online is a stranger. Avoid engaging in the transaction if you are required to communicate with the other party outside of the website.
- Do not disclose your personal information such as your bank account details over the Internet.
- Use the services of licensed money changers if you need to exchange currencies. It is against the law for anyone to operate a money-changing business without a valid licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
- When in doubt, call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722 6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg before you act.
This article was first published on March 7, 2017.
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