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A new scam has surfaced involving fake job advertisements.
The police warned members of the public who are looking for work-from-home jobs during the Covid-19 heightened alert period and upcoming school holidays to be on their guard against these scams.
Job seekers might become victims of the scam or unknowingly be used as money mules to launder the proceeds of criminal activities.
In such scams, victims would receive unsolicited text, WhatsApp or Telegram messages or come across Facebook advertisements offering highly paid work-from-home jobs as a personal assistant to perform marketing-related jobs.
For example, the scammers would claim that the job requires the victim to:
Help merchants to improve their sales by performing tasks such as placing items into shopping carts or liking posts on social media platforms; and/or
Make payments to bank accounts in order to receive a commission based on the amount transferred.
The scammers would then require the victims to download applications from dubious websites to facilitate payment for the tasks.
The victims would be required to make upfront payment for a series of transactions before receiving full reimbursements with commissions.
The enhance the credibility, the scammers would reimburse the victims with commissions in the initial stages in order to convince the victims that this was a legitimate job, and to induce them to deposit increasingly larger sums of money to earn more commission.
At this point, the scammer would promise commissions only after a certain number of tasks had been completed and would delay payment.
The victims would only realise they had fallen prey to a scam when they did not receive the reimbursement and commission.
The police would like to advise the members of the public on the following:
If it is too good to be true, it probably is. Do not accept dubious job offers that offer lucrative returns for minimal effort;
If you are randomly invited into a messaging application group chat that you suspect is promoting a scam, report the group chat using the in-app function immediately to prevent others from falling prey to scams;
If possible, always verify the authenticity of the job with the official websites or sources; and
Do not click on suspicious URLs or download applications from unknown sources.
If you have information related 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. Dial ‘999’ if you require urgent police assistance.
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688.