At least 84 victims lose $177,000 in June to fake buyer scam on Carousell, Facebook
At least 84 people have fallen prey to a phishing scam involving fake buyers on Carousell and Facebook in June, losing a total of at least $177,000.
The police said on Wednesday that this scam variant in which scammers pose as buyers was making a resurgence.
In such scams, the scammers would approach victims by messaging them on Carousell or Facebook, pretending to be interested in the items that were listed.
Once victims agree to sell, they would be sent a malicious URL link or QR code through e-mail, a direct message in the respective apps or WhatsApp, on the pretext of receiving payment or paying for courier services to deliver the items.
When victims click on the link or scan the QR code, they would be directed to a spoofed website where they are made to key in their Internet banking login credentials, credit card details or their one-time password.
They only realise they had been scammed when they notice unauthorised transactions being made from their bank accounts or cards.
Both Facebook Marketplace and Carousell were ranked as the bottom two in an annual report by the Inter-Ministry Committee on Scams assessing the safety and security of online transactions for consumers. The report gave Facebook Marketplace one out of four ticks, while Carousell received two.
Three in five e-commerce scams reported in Singapore were conducted through the two platforms. Facebook Marketplace lacks seller verification tools and secure payment options, while such measures are optional on Carousell.
The public can download the ScamShield app and set up two-factor or multifactor authentication for banks to protect themselves. The police also urged people to avoid clicking on dubious links and to report any fraudulent transactions to banks and e-commerce platforms immediately.
For more information on scams, the public can visit scamalert.sg or call the anti-scam hotline on 1800-722-6688. Anyone with information on scams may call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit the information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness