Singapore police said that between January 2018 and January 2019, they had received at least 42 Facebook impersonation scam reports that included at least S$1 million.
In a news release the police said that in such cases, most of the victims were contacted via compromised Facebook accounts, which belong to their friends and introducing the victims to various types of grants.
Then the victims were informed that they would receive the grant, but for that, they had to provide their personal details and transfer money to bank accounts or remit overseas. Later the victims realised that it's a scam and they were being cheated after verifying with their actual Facebook friends.
As per the news release, the police asked the members of the public to follow a few crime prevention measures, which are:
- Beware of unusual requests or text messages, even if they were sent by your social media contacts
- Be wary of get-rich-quick offers that ask you to transfer money in return for a greater fortune. If in doubt, verify the authenticity of the request or text message by contacting your friend, but do not do so through the social media platform as the account might have been taken over by scammers
- Do not transfer money or give out your personal information, credit/debit card details and bank account details to unknown individuals
The authority also asked people to share if such incidents happened to any of them or anyone has information about such ongoing scams. People can contact the police through the hotline number 1800-255-0000 or can submit the information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.
If any member of the public seeks immediate Police assistance then they can dial 999. Singapore Police Force (SPF) also added that
"To seek scam-related advice, you may call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg. Join the 'let's fight scams' campaign at www.scamalert.sg/fight by signing up as an advocate to receive up-to-date messages and share them with your family and friends. Together, we can help stop scams and prevent our loved ones from becoming the next victim of a scam."