Connect with us

Crime

16yo among 19 individuals probed by Singapore authorities in WhatsApp impersonation scam crackdown

19 suspects are under investigation for their alleged involvement in a recent WhatsApp impersonation scam in Singapore.

At least 237 victims suffered losses of S$606,000 in social media impersonation scams since Nov 2023, with 93 specifically tied to the WhatsApp variant.

Published

on

SINGAPORE: 13 men and six women aged between 16 and 50, are currently under investigation for their suspected involvement in the recent variant of impersonation scam using compromised WhatsApp accounts.

This investigation follows an island-wide anti-scam enforcement operation conducted from 15 to 24 November.

They are allegedly involved in a sophisticated scheme that exploited fake ‘WhatsApp Web’ phishing websites.”

The enforcement operation, led by officers from the Commercial Affairs Department, seven Police Land Divisions, and the Police Intelligence Department, saw simultaneous island-wide raids resulting in the arrest of 19 individuals in total.

“Preliminary investigations revealed that the 19 persons had allegedly facilitated the scam cases by relinquishing their bank accounts, Internet banking credentials and/or disclosing Singpass credentials, either for monetary gains between $200 and $3,400 or for loans which they did not eventually receive,” the police said in a statement on 26 Nov.

WhatsApp impersonation scam through “WhatsApp Web” phishing

Since Nov 2023, the police have reported a surge in social media impersonation scams, with at least 237 victims falling prey to such schemes, amounting to a staggering total loss of S$606,000.

Specifically tied to this WhatsApp variant, 93 victims have been identified, with losses reaching at least $176,000, the police said.

Typically, the scammers used compromised WhatsApp accounts to contact victims’ families, friends, or associates, fabricating urgent needs for monetary assistance under various pretexts, such as medical emergencies or exceeding transfer limits.

Victims, unsuspecting of the scam, transferred money to unfamiliar bank accounts or PayNow numbers, believing they were aiding their compromised contacts.

It was only after contacting their friends or family that they discovered the ruse, realizing they had been duped.

The police underscore the severity of the charges the suspects face, including acquiring benefits from criminal conduct, cheating by deceiving banks into opening unauthorized accounts, and various offenses under the Computer Misuse Act.

These charges carry significant penalties, including imprisonment terms of up to 10 years, fines of up to $500,000, or both.

The investigations are ongoing, and the authorities emphasize their commitment to tracking down cybercriminals responsible for social media impersonation scams.

The public is urged to remain vigilant and reject seemingly lucrative opportunities that involve the use of personal information for financial transactions.

The police sternly warn that individuals found linked to such crimes will be held accountable.

For assistance regarding scams, contact the Anti-Scam Helpline at 1800-722-6688, or visit https://www.scamalert.sg/.

If you have information about such scams, you can reach the Police Hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit details online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.

Share this post via:
Continue Reading
4 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
4 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Since this is a very, very serious and exploding issue, the sentencing regime for those convicted scammers (and those who enable scamming) should be much stricter.

The law should treat scamming on the same level of drug peddling; leaving out the death penalty.

This is a verrry difficult problem to solve. There are 1001 ways to scam and even the best among us (as in the most alert, wel …l, most of the time anyway) can just slip up.

上梁不正,下梁歪. If the adult or upper level not scamming where the future generation learn how to scam …

And dun always blame Singaporean. Maybe you look to the Rich ones up there who can use money to bait or stumble others. The ordinary Sgrean already got problem with livelihood. So much time to recruit ppl to scam?!? Maybe the SGisreali or SGHamas at work …

Shitgaporean commit more crimes

Trending

Discover more from Gutzy Asia

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue Reading