10 people lose $95,000 to scam involving sale of jade stones via live streaming on TikTok

At least 10 people have fallen prey to a scam involving the sale of jade stones via live streaming on TikTok with total losses amounting to at least $95,000 this year, said police.

After the victims agreed to buy the jade, the scammers would provide a local or overseas bank account number for the victims to make payment to.

The scammers would subsequently claim that they did not receive the payment or become uncontactable.

In another version of the scam, the scammers would ask victims to “invest” in raw jade stones over TikTok. The returns on investment would be dependent on the value of the cut jade stones.

Interested investors would be asked to transfer money to the scammers’ bank accounts in advance. For each jade stone investment, scammers would cut the raw jade stone to determine the value of the cut stones on a TikTok livestream.

For high quality jade stones, the scammers would “purchase” them back at a higher price from the victims who had invested in the stones. The scammers would promise to refund the victims if the jade stones turned out to be of a poor quality, or of no value after cutting.

Victims would only realise that they had been scammed when they did not receive the returns as promised, or when scammers did not refund the victims and became uncontactable.

The police would like to advise members of the public to adopt the following precautionary measures:

  • ADD ScamShield App and set security features (eg, enable two-factor or multifactor authentication for banks, social media, Singpass accounts; set transaction limits on Internet banking transactions, including PayNow).
  • CHECK for scam signs with official sources (eg, visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Helpline at 1800-722-6688). If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Purchase only from authorised sellers or reputable sources and be wary of purported time-sensitive deals due to limited stocks available. Avoid making upfront payments to bank accounts belonging to unknown individuals and, whenever possible, avoid making advance payments or direct bank transfers to the seller. Always verify the seller’s profile through customer reviews and ratings.
  • TELL authorities, family, and friends about this scam so they do not fall for it. Report the fraudulent pages to TikTok.

If you have any information relating to such crimes or if you are in doubt, please call the Police Hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. All information will be kept strictly confidential.