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Almost 1,200 social media impersonation scams reported in first 6 months of 2020: Police

SINGAPORE — Scams involving spoofed or compromised social media accounts have leapt by 1,315 per cent in the first six months of 2020, compared to the same period last year.

Almost 1,200 social media impersonation scams reported in first 6 months of 2020: Police

To trick victims, the culprits would usually use spoofed social media accounts to impersonate the victims’ friends or followers on Facebook or Instagram.

SINGAPORE — Scams involving spoofed or compromised social media accounts have leapt by 1,315 per cent in the first six months of 2020, compared to the same period last year.

In a statement on Tuesday (Sept 1), the police said they had received at least 1,175 reports involving such scams during this period, compared to just 83 cases in the first half of 2019.

These scams have amounted to at least S$2.7 million in losses, added the police.

To trick victims, the culprits would usually use spoofed social media accounts to impersonate the victims’ friends or followers on Facebook or Instagram. 

They would then ask the victims to share their personal information such as their mobile number, internet banking account details, and one-time passwords under the guise of helping them sign up for fake contests or promotions on Grab, Lazada or Shoppee.

Victims would later discover that unauthorised fraudulent transactions had been made from their bank accounts and mobile wallets without their consent, the police said.

These fraudulent transactions often occur on online platforms selling game credits that can be used in a variety of online games.

The police advised members of the public to be wary of unexpected requests or offers from social media contacts, especially if they relate to lucky draws or contests.

Individuals should also verify whether the social media account contacting them is legitimate by checking with their friends and family offline.

The police also warned the public not to give out their personal or bank account details and one-time passwords to anyone, including friends and family.

Those who wish to report scams may do so using the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.

For more information on scams, members of the public should visit www.scamalert.sg or call the anti-scam hotline at 1800-722-6688.

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scam social media impersonation scam

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