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Scam victims lost S$6.8M to job and investment scam on messaging platforms this year

At least 460 fell prey to scams, losing S$6.8M this year. Scammers lure on messaging apps, offering fake opportunities. Police urge caution, activate privacy settings.



SINGAPORE –At least 460 individuals have been ensnared in investment and job scams since the start of this year, resulting in staggering losses exceeding S$6.8 million (US$5 million), the police said on Wednesday, 14 February.

The modus operandi behind these scams typically involves victims being added to chat groups or channels on messaging platforms like Telegram and WhatsApp by unknown individuals, under the guise of offering lucrative investment or job opportunities.

However, the grim reality dawns on the victims only when they find themselves unable to withdraw their purported earnings, despite having transferred fees for the purported “investment.”

“This is a common approach modus operandi exploited by scammers behind investment scams and job scams,” police added.

The police recommended that individuals exercise caution if they find themselves added by unfamiliar individuals to chat groups or channels.

They further suggested activating the privacy feature on their devices, preventing unknown users from adding them to such chat groups or channels.

Investment and job scam in online chat groups

According to authorities, scammers employ cunning tactics to entice victims, including featuring testimonials from seemingly successful participants within these chat groups or channels.

Victims, lured by the promise of substantial profits, engage further with the scammers, who then proceed to offer enticing “investment packages” or seemingly easy online job opportunities.

Investment scams, prevalent within these virtual spaces, often involve victims being instructed to provide personal information to ostensibly set up investment accounts.

Subsequently, victims are directed to transfer funds to specified PayNow numbers, bank accounts, or cryptocurrency wallets, purportedly as part of the investment process.

However, the promised returns remain elusive, and victims soon realize they’ve been duped when they encounter difficulties withdrawing their earnings, despite having transferred substantial sums for alleged fees.

Scammers may also direct victims to install virtual private network (VPN) applications to reach investment websites, which, in reality, are fake sites.


Similarly, job scams operate under the guise of offering lucrative and convenient online employment opportunities.

Victims, promised profitable roles by scammers posing as representatives of reputable companies like TikTok or online marketing firms, are tasked with activities such as generating social media traction or engagement.

These tasks, seemingly innocuous at first, gradually escalate, with victims being instructed to open accounts on fake job websites and transfer increasing amounts of money to designated accounts or crypto wallets provided by the scammers.

“In some cases, scammers would provide victims with fake employment contracts to reinforce the deception,” police said.

Victims, misled into believing in the legitimacy of the opportunities, only realize they’ve been swindled when they encounter obstacles in withdrawing their earnings or when they’re coerced into paying additional funds to “upgrade” their accounts.

In 2023, Singapore police reported that job scams had duped at least 6,600 individuals, resulting in significant losses of around S$96.8 million (US$80 million).

In December of 2023 alone, a minimum of 180 individuals incurred losses totaling S$2.6 million due to fraudulent job offers on social media platforms.


The Singapore Police Force (SPF) have issued a stern warning to the public, urging vigilance against such scams and advising individuals to exercise caution when added to unfamiliar chat groups or channels.

According to a joint study by the Global Anti-Scam Alliance (Gasa) and ScamAdviser, scammers globally made off with a staggering estimated sum of US$1.02 trillion between August 2022 and August 2023.

Notably, victims in Singapore faced the highest average losses.

The study highlighted that the average scam victim in Singapore lost US$4,031, the highest globally, followed by Switzerland at US$3,767 and Austria at US$3,484, pointing to the appeal of these affluent nations as targets for scammers.

During a parliamentary debate on 10 January, Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information, had also suggested that Singapore ranks among the leading countries in terms of scam amounts, attributing this to the high reporting levels by victims.

In another Parliamentary session held earlier this month on 5 February, Mrs Teo elaborated on measures aimed at boosting public technological literacy to tackle cybercrime and the spread of deepfake content.

Her remarks came in response to inquiries from Mr Christopher de Souza regarding the strategies being implemented to address the prevalence of deepfake software in scam and fraud incidents.

Deepfakes refer to media that has been altered by artificial intelligence (AI), using a technique called facial re-enactment to manipulate the performance of a subject in an existing video.

Those with information on scams or doubts about message authenticity can contact the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or visit

Additional information can be found on, or reach the Anti-Scam telephone hotline at 1800-772-6688.

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Greed and careless people are aplenty in Singapore
Who says there are poor people with no money here..??

The pond has not dried up and will never be dried up.