27 toilet rolls for just $3.99? 104 people lost $63,000 after clicking on such online ads this year

At least 104 people lost more than $63,000 to phishing scams involving social media advertisements this year.

They would encounter advertisements or posts featuring various heavily discounted goods on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.

The police shared screenshots of ads offering 27 Nomieo toilet rolls for $3.99 and a vegetable slicer for $5.47 among others.

Enticed by the attractive promotions, the scam victims would click on the advertisements and be redirected to fraudulent phishing websites that would prompt them to key in their bank card details and/or one-time passwords (OTPs) for the “purchase” of the purported goods during check out.

The victims only realised that they had been scammed when they discovered unauthorised transactions that were different from their intended purchases on their debit or credit cards.

In some cases, the transactions were also made in foreign currencies.

The police advise adopting the following precautionary measures:

  • ADD the ScamShield App to protect yourself from scam calls and SMSes. Set security features such as transaction limits for Internet banking transactions, two-factor authentication and multifactor authentication for banks. Do not disclose your bank/card details and OTPs to anyone.
  • CHECK for scam signs with official sources such ScamShield WhatsApp bot @ go.gov.sg/scamshield-bot, call the Anti-Scam Helpline on 1800-722-6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg. Look out for tell-tale signs of a phishing website. Do not click on dubious URL links provided in social media advertisements. Be cautious of attractive deals that seem too good to be true. Check the transaction amount and merchant details before keying in the OTP.
  • TELL the authorities, family, and friends about scams. Report the fraudulent advertisements to the platforms. Report any fraudulent transactions to your bank immediately.
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