40 victims in Singapore duped in PayPal scam

40 victims in Singapore duped in PayPal scam

SINGAPORE: More than 40 people have been duped in a scam involving online payments system PayPal, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said on Tuesday (Jun 13).

Since January, police said victims of this scam have lost at least S$43,000. 

The victims had posted items for sale online, and were contacted by scammers posing as interested buyers, the police said. The scammers would then send fake emails purportedly from PayPal or reputable banks – designed to deceive the victims into believing they had been paid.

The scammers then requested the items be shipped overseas and victims were told to show proof of shipment before they would receive payment.

A variation of the scam involves victims who had posted their houses for rent online, police added.  

"In some of the cases, the victims were duped into making fictitious administrative payments such as for the ‘activation of PayPal accounts’ in order for them to receive payment. No payments were eventually received by the victims," the police said. 

SPF advised members of the public to adopt the following measures: 

  • Always log in to your PayPal account to verify that payment has been made before shipping an item. Do not trust the email, even if it appears to be legitimate.
  • Never download attachments or software programs attached in such emails.
  • Do not give out your personal information, credit or debit card details, bank account details or email account details.
  • Bear in mind that PayPal would send a request to log in safely into your account if it really needs your information.

Members of the public who want to provide information relating to the scam can contact the police at 1800-255-0000, or submit the information online. Those who need urgent police assistance should call 999. 

Scam-related advice is also available at www.scamalert.sg, or by calling 1800-722-6688, the police added. 

Source: CNA/dl