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WhatsApp CPF Scam Alert: MOM urges public to remain vigilant

Suspected WhatsApp scam dubbed “CPF Top up Scheme” has triggered a public warning from Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower. The scam, promising increased Central Provident Fund contributions, asks for personal information.

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SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) issued a warning on Sunday against a WhatsApp scam, labelled as the “CPF Top up Scheme (CPFS) offer,” which has been circulating amongst unsuspecting individuals.

The fraudulent message promises increased Central Provident Fund contributions for those who submit their personal information via the provided link in the text.

MOM alerted the public to this scam through a Facebook post, urging everyone to stay vigilant and refrain from sharing such deceptive messages with others.

Any individuals who have fallen victim to the scam are advised by the MOM to lodge a police report immediately.

This latest scam comes as the city-state continues to grapple with an alarming surge in such fraudulent activities. Singaporeans lost a total of $660.7 million to scams in 2022, marking a rise from $632 million in 2021, as reported by the police. This represents an astonishing $1.3 billion lost to scams over the last two years.

A common misconception debunked by the police is that the majority of scam victims are elderly or less tech-savvy individuals. However, data released by the Singapore Police Force on 16 February reveals that more than 53% of scam victims were actually between the ages of 20 and 39.

The overall number of reported scam cases has also seen a sharp increase. In 2022, 31,728 scams were reported, marking a significant 32.6% rise from the 23,933 cases reported in 2021.

Phishing scams – fraudulent attempts to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by disguising oneself as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication – were identified as the most common type of scam in 2022, with 7,097 cases reported. This indicates a worrying 41.3% increase from the 5,023 cases reported in 2021.

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