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At least 20 victims have fallen prey to a new scam involving fake Facebook advertisements about the sale of newly released electronic devices since September 2021.
The police warned members of the public about the trending scam in a news release on Friday (Oct 15).
They said: "In these cases, victims would come across social media posts or Facebook advertisements promoting the sale of these newly released electronic devices, priced below the recommended retail price.
"Victims who click on these posts would be redirected to communicate with the sellers via the in-app messenger or WhatsApp.
"During their conversation, the sellers would claim that there were limited stocks and would request for the victims to make an upfront payment or to place a deposit before the delivery of the electronic device.
"Thereafter, victims would be asked to transfer the money to bank accounts belonging to unknown individuals."
The victims would realise that they had been scammed when they did not receive the item as promised and the seller became uncontactable.
Members of the public are advised to adopt the following precautionary measures:
If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Purchase only from authorised sellers or reputable sources, especially for high value items.
Be wary of purported time-sensitive deals due to limited stocks available.
Avoid making upfront payments to bank accounts belonging to unknown individuals and opt for buyer protection by using in-built payment options that release payment to the seller only upon delivery. Whenever possible, avoid making advance payments or direct bank transfers to the seller as this method does not offer any protection.
Verify the seller’s profile on online marketplaces through customer reviews and ratings.
If you have information related 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.
For urgent police assistance, call '999'
More information on scams can be found on www.scamalert.sg or via the anti-scam hotline at 1800-722-6688.