SINGAPORE: About S$35,000 (RM107,480) was lost since last month to a new type of scam, where scammers pose as buyers on online marketplaces.

At least 44 victims fell prey to such scams since last month, said the police on Tuesday (Nov 23).

The scammers would first approach victims on online marketplaces and express interest in buying items that the victims were selling. After they have agreed on the sale, the scammer would ask to make payment via PayNow.

The victims would then receive an e-mail purportedly from the online marketplace, indicating that payment had been made, but that they were required to access a URL link to receive their payments.

Those who accessed the links were led to fake webpages impersonating that of banks. They were told to log in to their bank accounts to receive payment.

The victims only realised that they were scammed when they discovered unauthorised transactions made to their bank accounts.

The police urged members of the public not to click on links provided in unsolicited e-mails and text messages, and to verify buyers’ profiles on online marketplaces through reviews and ratings.

“Always verify the authenticity of the information with the official website or sources, for instance, to check the sender’s e-mail address. Verify the authenticity of such mode of payment with the respective online marketplaces,” added the police.

Members of the public were also reminded not to disclose their Internet banking details and password to anyone, and to immediately report any fraudulent transactions to their banks. – The Straits Times (Singapore)/Asia New Network

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