WeChat, as the messaging and payments tool which brings some convenient to our life, but also brings some trouble if you not care more. Singapore Police Force (SPF) has announced that it had received multiple reports where victims were cheated of monies by scammers operating on WeChat, stating that more than S$70,000 was lost by victims in these cases.
The Police said that scammers had promised to sell the victims various items such as gaming credits or foreign currencies at attractive rates.
The Police said that victims encountered a pop-up advertisement on the sale of in-gaming credits at a discounted price while playing online games such as The Legend of the Condor Heros, Jian Xia Qing Yuan 3 (剑侠情缘), Three Kingdom Rush, Xi Fei Zhuan (熹妃传).
There were pop-up advertisements which directed the victims to add the scammers on Wechat. Thereafter, the victims were asked by the scammers to register for accounts on a website so that they could receive the game credits.
The Police said that the account registration required victims to provide their personal particulars and bank account details.
After registration was completed, the victims were then contacted via Wechat, QQ or LINE and were asked to pay for gaming credits through Alipay, iTunes or MyCard.
However, the scammers failed to deliver the promised game credits and could not be contacted thereafter.
The Police added that there were some victims who were further scammed into making additional payments under the pretext of various reasons such as fees to activate the bank account or to check the authenticity of victims’ bank accounts.
The Police also noted that there are scam involving the sale of foreign currencies, where victims responded to online advertisements offering online money changing services at attractive rates.
Victims were then asked to add the scammers on WeChat.
After adding the scammers, the victims were later asked to transfer money to local bank accounts in order to receive the currencies in the victim’s WeChat / Alipay account.
However after payments were made, the victim failed to receive any money from scammers. The scammers would also block the victim on Wechat and become uncontactable.
The Police advises members of the public to take the following precautions:
Exercise caution when responding to online advertisements. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is not.
Bear in mind that the party you are dealing with online is a stranger. Before performing a transaction, find out how the online site safeguards your interest or can help you resolve disputes. Avoid engaging in the transaction if you are required to communicate with the other party outside of the website.
Do not disclose your personal information such as your bank account details over the internet.
Use the services of licensed money changers if you need to exchange currencies. It is against the law for anyone to operate a money-changing business without a valid license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
When in doubt, call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722 6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg before you act.