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The police have alerted members of the public to a new variant of job and online gambling scams involving SMSes sent from dubious email addresses, such as those ending with '@163.com'.
For the job scams, victims would receive unsolicited text messages offering highly paid part-time jobs.
The scammers would claim that the job entails helping merchants to improve sales by performing tasks such as placing items into shopping carts, liking posts on social media or making payments to bank accounts to receive commissions based on the amount transferred.
Thereafter, scammers would inform victims to download applications to facilitate payments and would require victims to make upfront payments before receiving reimbursements to their commissions.
Victims would only realise they have been scammed when they did not receive their reimbursement and commission.
For the online gambling scams, victims would receive unsolicited text messages offering attractive rewards to join online gambling platforms.
Thereafter, victims would be convinced to open betting accounts with the said gambling platforms and would deposit their money for use as betting credits, on the promise of easy profits.
However, the victims would subsequently be told that their betting accounts had been frozen, and they would need to deposit more money to cash out their winnings.
The scammers would then become uncontactable, and the websites would be inaccessible after the additional money was transferred.
Members of the public are advised to adopt the following crime prevention measures:
If it is too good to be true, it probably is. Do not accept dubious offers that offer lucrative returns for minimal effort;
If you receive such scam-related messages, report them via the in-app function of your phones. You may do so by selecting ‘Report Junk’ at the end of the SMS and thereafter selecting the function ‘Delete and Report Junk’.
Similarly, 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 a job offer with the official websites or sources; and
Do not click on URL links provided in unsolicited text messages or download applications from unknown sources.
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.