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At least S$34,000 lost this year to scams involving fake travel agent websites

At least S$34,000 lost this year to scams involving fake travel agent websites

A screenshot of a fake Visa Vietnam website. (Image: Singapore Police Force)

SINGAPORE: Victims have lost at least S$34,000 this year to scams involving fake travel agent websites, the police said on Tuesday (Jul 5).

The police said they have observed an increase in scams involving the non-delivery of travel-related services, which includes visa applications, arrival card applications and flight bookings made through fake travel agent websites.

At least 35 victims have fallen prey to such schemes since January 2022.

In these cases, the victims would access the websites to make their travel arrangements, where they would be prompted to key in their personal details and payment card details to obtain the services they sought.

After keying in their details for the first time, victims would receive emails prompting them for more information to complete their application, the police said.

"Victims would realise that they had been scammed after checking with the relevant authorities and companies and discovered that their applications and purchases were never processed."

A screenshot of a fake Thailand Pass website. (Image: Singapore Police Force)
A screenshot of a fake Thailand Pass website. (Image: Singapore Police Force)

The police have advised members of the public to contact official sources such as the Singapore Tourism Board and the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore to check if a vendor is an accredited travel agent.

Members of the public should only purchase from authorised sellers or reputable sources, said the police.

"Buying cheap tickets from resellers is risky - If the price is too good to be true, it probably is."

Travellers can refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s website to ensure they are using the correct website for applications to travel out of Singapore.

They can also refer to the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority’s website for entry requirements into Singapore.

Any fraudulent credit or debit card charges should be reported immediately, added the police.

Source: CNA/rj(aj)

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