In Less Than 2 Months, Telegram & WhatsApp Scammers Have Cheated Over $6.8 Million


If you have WhatsApp or Telegram, there’s a high chance you’ve been added, by someone you don’t know, to a group chat or channel about investment, stocks or anything like that.

It probably looked something like this:

Images: SPF

As someone who’s been added to a couple of these chats before, I thought it was pretty useless of them to add people because who on earth would fall for such obvious scams?

Moreover, you’re probably thinking that only boomers get scammed, right?

I thought so too. That is, until I found out that young people are more susceptible to scams.


It seems younger people like you and I are more prone to scams than our grandparents. Read this article carefully to know what to look out for.

Scams This Year

We’re barely seven weeks into 2024 but at least 460 victims have already fallen prey to investment and job scams since January this year, with losses amounting to at least S$6.8 million.

That’s about 65 people being scammed each week with a loss of nearly $15,000 each.

The victims were added, by people they did not know, into group chats and channels on messaging platforms like Telegram and WhatsApp, police said in a news release on 14 February 2024.

The group chats and channels allegedly promoted special investment or job opportunities.

Sometimes, these scams can come in the form of private messages where a person you do not know messages you, offering a job.

These job opportunities usually appeal to people by saying you can work from home and earn a lot of money quickly.

Scammers will usually share “testimonials” of people who have successfully made big bucks under their schemes – of course, these are all lies.

These are fake testimonials to improve their credibility and lure you in.

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


Victims tempted by the attractive opportunities then contact the scammers and are offered “investment packages”.

Through these packages, scammers will sometimes let you win a little before they take everything away.

Investment Scams

Let’s look at a hypothetical situation where you have been messaged by an unknown person. She offers you a great investment opportunity that is easy and will earn you money quickly.

After she prompts you to provide your personal information to set up an account, she then instructs you to transfer money to her specified PayNow number, bank account, or cryptocurrency wallet to begin “investing”.

In some cases, victims may be asked to download Virtual Private Network (VPN) applications to access the “investment” websites, which are actually “scam websites used to reinforce the deceit”, police said.


Let’s say you “invest” $100 and get $120 back. Because you feel happy and confident, you put in $200 next and get back $250.

After this, the scammer may prompt you to put in a larger sum of money. Since your previous “investments” earned you money, you may think “this is real, this isn’t a scam”.

Feeling eager to make more money quickly, you agree to “invest” a larger sum. Let’s say you put in $10,000.

This is when the trouble starts.

You may notice that you’re no longer able to get interest. In fact, you might not even be able to get back the $10,000 you put in.

The scammer disappears and you never hear from her again. She’s gone and so is your money.


As they say, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Unfortunately, scams like these are common on messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram, so it’s important to stay vigilant.

The police advised members of the public to be cautious when added by unknown people into such group chats or channels. Being contacted by an unknown person for job opportunities or easy cash grabs is another situation to remain cautious in.

The police added that the public is encouraged to activate the privacy function on their devices which disallows unknown users from adding them into chat groups or channels.

Interestingly, a woman named Janice Sia was curious about how the scamming system works, so she went along with the scammers’ plot and even made money from it.


I guess you could say she scammed the scammer.

Note that there is no guarantee you will make money if you do what Janice did, and there is a possibility you may lose money instead.

Why Telegram is so Popular Amongst Scammers

As of the latest report by Statista, Telegram has over 800 million monthly active users worldwide. Its large userbase makes it more probable that scammers will find someone who will fall prey to their tricks.

Moreover, Telegram’s channels and public groups can be easily searched via the app’s built-in search bar. This facilitates scammers in expanding their reach to new audiences, and it is much easier than other messaging platforms.

Telegram also has end-to-end encryption, which allows scammers to message victims without fear that authorities will see their chats and intervene.

Due to its effective outreach, privacy, and anonymity, Telegram is popular amongst other criminals too, not just scammers. One should stay alert and be cautious of the illegal activity that may be going on on this messaging app.

After all, you wouldn’t want to be one of those victims who lose hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars.

To aid in the fight against scams, the Singapore Police Force and the National Crime Prevention Council release Weekly Scams Bulletins.


These bulletins help the public to stay updated with the latest trends in scams and what precautionary measures one can take.

You can view this and their previous bulletins in other languages on their website.

Image: SPF