Being the opportunistic and resourceful bunch that they are, scammers are always looking for new avenues to carry out their swindles.
It’s certainly only a matter of time before they involve bubble tea.
Given how popular instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram have become, it’s no surprise that users have been flooded with dubious texts from beautiful people overseas or employers looking for ‘workers’.
And if you happen to fall for their ruse, you could end up losing a lot of money.
The Telegram Job Scam
One such scam is a job scam which has become prevalent on Telegram.
In a post on the site Scam Alert, an anonymous netizen detailed how he lost $1,300 in such a scam last year.
The victim had received a message on Telegram about a part-time job offer. After making his interest known, the victim was instructed to carry on his conversation with a woman called Jennifer over WhatsApp.
The victim thought it was a legitimate offer as Jennifer was using a local number.
He was then asked to click on a link that was provided and create an account there. The “job” he was tasked with was boosting the sales of merchants online.
In other similar scams, this is done by paying for products in advance in return for commissions. But of course, these payments are often made to private bank accounts, the accounts owned by scammers.
The victim was told he’d start earning a commission—20%—once he completed 40 such tasks in half an hour or less.
Since he got his money back after the first round of tasks, the victim thought the job was legitimate. But he was told repeatedly to “top up” money in his account—up to $2,000 at one point—and realised he had been scammed when he didn’t get his money back.
The victim said he has lodged a police report, but warned that the scammer is still recruiting “part-time workers” on Telegram and Facebook.
Many other posts on the Scam Alert site told similar tales, all starting with a message on Telegram. One even claimed to have lost $300,000.
According to a Goody Feed staff member who often receives these messages, the messages would usually be from a local female name as well with an attractive female as a profile image, and after a while, the account would be deleted.
What You Should Do
According to Scam Alert, members of the public should be wary of employers who require payment before you start work or job offers that promise high returns for little effort.
As the saying goes: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
You should also:
- Ignore job advertisements of a dubious nature
- Avoid sharing personal information, including OTPs sent to your mobile phone
- Never transfer money to strangers or anyone you have never met
- Avoid using your bank account to conduct transactions on behalf of others
- Verify the legitimacy of the job offer with the organisation concerned
To learn more about scams in Singapore, watch these entertaining videos we’ve done in collaboration with the Singapore Police Force:
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