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RISE OF SCAMMERS PRETENDING TO BE BUYERS ON CAROUSELL, $938K LOST IN SCAMS

POLICE STATEMENT ON PHISHING SCAMS INVOLVING FAKE BUYERS ON CAROUSELL AND OVERSEAS PAYNOW TRANSFERS

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The number of phishing scams involving fake buyers on Carousell continue to surge, with the number of reports in the month of December 2022 alone surpassing the number of reports in the first eleven months this year.

The scam works as follows: Scammers would pose as prospective buyers on Carousell, and in order to receive payment, victims (i.e. sellers) would be asked to key in their banking details on spoofed websites to facilitate payment. At least 975 victims, with reported losses amounting to at least $938,000, have fallen prey to this scam from January 2022 to November 2022.

However, since the beginning of December 2022, at least 1,115 victims had fallen prey to date, with total losses amounting to at least $1 million. Based on investigations, a significant proportion of the reports lodged involved unauthorised overseas PayNow transfers. This is a troubling trend, because once money is moved overseas, the chances of recovery are very slim.

To curb this scam surge, key partners in the ecosystem including Carousell and the Association of Banks in Singapore are implementing measures to protect their customers. These include but are not limited to adding friction into overseas PayNow transfers as the affected banks deem appropriate until this threat subsides.

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Together, we can help stop scams and prevent our loved ones from falling prey to scams.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
01 January 2023 @ 2:00 PM

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