At least S$1.2 million lost in Facebook impersonation scams

At least S$1.2 million lost in Facebook impersonation scams

FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of laptop users are seen next to a screen projection of a Facebook logo
FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of laptop users are seen next to a screen projection of a Facebook logo, March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

SINGAPORE: Scammers using hacked or spoofed Facebook accounts have cheated victims at least S$1.2 million this year, said the Singapore Police Force (SPF) in a news release on Monday (Nov 25).

At least 45 reports of these Facebook impersonation scams were made between January and September 2019.

The victims of such scams tend to be older people aged 60 years and above, the police added, "likely because they are not aware that Facebook accounts could be hacked or spoofed" and "they tend to be more trusting".

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Scammers would contact their victims using compromised Facebook accounts belonging to friends or family members.

After introducing the victims to various types of grants, the scammers would tell the victims to provide their personal details, and transfer money to bank accounts or remit funds overseas supposedly in order to receive the grant.

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Police highlighted several red flags that the public can take cues from to guard themselves from such scams:

  • Unusual requests on social media or text messages, even if they were sent by your contacts
  • Get-rich-quick offers that ask you to transfer money in return for more money
  • Requests for personal information, bank account, credit or debit card details, or one-time passwords (OTP)

"If in doubt, verify the authenticity of the request or text message by contacting your friend, but do not do so through the social media platform as the account might have been taken over by scammers," added SPF.

More information can be found at www.scamalert.sg.

Source: CNA/jt

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