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At least 82 victims have fallen prey to scams involving freecycling since May this year, losing more than $2,500 in total.
Freecycling is a green movement in which the community gives away items that are no longer needed instead of selling them or throwing them away.
In this scam, victims would come across giveaway offers posted by scammers on online platforms such as Facebook, Goodhood, Telegram and Carousell.
The giveaway offers include a variety of items ranging from bicycles to bulky kitchen appliances like refrigerators.
The victims would reach out to the scammers using the platform's in-app messaging function and would be requested by the scammers to pay a fee for delivery or to reserve the items.
The payments would be made via bank transfers or through e-wallets like Singtel Dash or GrabPay.
Victims would realise they had been scammed when they did not receive the items.
The police advise members of the public to adopt the following precautionary measures:
ADD - ScamShield App and set security features (e.g., enable two-factor (2FA) or multifactor authentication for banks and set transaction limits on internet banking transactions, including PayNow).
CHECK - For scam signs and with official sources (e.g., visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Helpline at 1800-722-6688). Avoid making payments or deposits belonging to unknown individuals. Arrange for your own delivery where possible and always verify the profile of the user through reviews and ratings.
TELL - Authorities, family, and friends about scams. Report the suspicious user and fraudulent posting to the platform.
If you have any information relating to such crimes or if you are in doubt, 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. If you require urgent police assistance, dial '999'.
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Helpline at 1800-722-6688.
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