SINGAPORE: There has been a spike in the number of scam cases involving fake cash giveaways on social media, said the police on Wednesday (Apr 8), adding that there had been at least 13 reports lodged since December last year.
Scammers would use social media platforms like Facebook to advertise the giveaways, instructing victims to share their Internet banking information and one-time passwords so they could make unauthorised and fraudulent transactions using the victims’ bank accounts.
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The authorities also said that such fake advertisements have now evolved to include references to COVID-19-related payouts by the Government.
In an advertisement shared by police, the scammer claimed there were “S$15,000 giveaways from the government”, with 30 slots for S$500 each. The Facebook post included hashtags like #FightForCOVID19 and #StayAtHome.
A screengrab of a Facebook Messenger exchange showed a sender requesting the victim’s Internet banking user ID, PIN number and account number.
“In five minutes you will receive S$500,” the sender claimed after telling the recipient their PIN number could be changed after the money was transferred to them.
The police advised the public to take caution when receiving unsolicited messages and information during this “uncertain period”.
“Beware of unusual requests or offers from strangers and even your social media contacts as they may be spoofed,” the police said.
They also urged people to verify the authenticity of such messages through official sources or through trusted contacts, and to never give out personal or bank account details to anyone.