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The police have warned about a new variant of job scam where victims were invited to participate in jobs that promise commission earnings through the sale of products on a fake mobile application named 'Shopee Pay'.
This mobile application is however, unrelated to the e-commerce platform, Shopee.
Since December 2021, at least 11 victims have fallen prey to this scam, with losses amounting to at least $53,000.
In these cases, victims were typically introduced to the “'job' by friends or after being approached on social media platforms.
The victims would then be instructed to download a fake mobile application named 'Shopee Pay' through a website address provided to them.
To fulfill “job” requirements and to transact within the fake mobile application, the victims would be instructed to deposit funds into their 'Shopee Pay' accounts by purchasing cryptocurrency (e.g. USDT) and transferring them to cryptocurrency wallet addresses indicated within the application.
In some instances, the cryptocurrency would be purchased through peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions via bank transfer or PayNow, before being transferred to the scammers’ cryptocurrency wallets.
After completion of these transactions, the fake mobile application would reflect that funds were available for their 'jobs' to victims, which would require victims to place items into their carts and make payment with the funds in their accounts.
Victims would then earn commission from completing orders, which would be reflected within the application.
In some instances, victims were informed that the 'Singapore Monetary Authority' had frozen their 'Shopee Pay' accounts and further fund top-ups were needed to release funds from their accounts.
Victims would eventually discover that they had been scammed when they were unable to withdraw the commissions reflected in their 'Shopee Pay' accounts.
Shopee has confirmed that their e-commerce shopping platform is not affiliated to the aforementioned 'Shopee Pay' mobile application, and that its e-wallet feature, ShopeePay, is accessible only on its official application.
The police would like to advise members of the public to adopt the following precautionary measures:
Do not accept dubious job offers that offer lucrative returns for minimal effort;
Never download applications from unverified sources; and'
Never send money to or transact in cryptocurrencies with anyone whom you do not personally know or have not met in person.
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.