Since January this year, at least 14 cases of scams involving fake Lazada campaigns on Instagram have been reported, police said in a statement on Tuesday (14 May).
According to TODAY, victims who fell for the scams that were named “Lazada Campaign”, “Lazada Raffle”, “Lazada Gift Money”, and “Lazada Lucky Draw”, were cheated of about S$14,000 in total.
Scammers would pretend to be friends or followers of the victim and DM (direct message) them saying that they’ll help them sign up for a Lazada campaign to win money.
They would ask the victims for their contact numbers, photos of their credit or debit cards, and the one-time passwords (OTP) from their bank accounts.
Victims only realised they have been cheated of their money when they found unauthorised card transactions on their accounts.
Lazada clarified with the media later that they were “in no way associated with these scams”.
The ecommerce firm added that their campaigns and contests are held only on their website, app, and official social media accounts, and “never via third-party channels”.
Time To Be Foolproof To Scams
In a separate release from the police, TODAY reported that a 31-year-old man was arrested for suspected involvement in at least 10 cases of ecommerce scams that amounted to over S$37,000.
Victims have reported in the past two months, of a seller offering room rental services on Facebook and iLivesg.com who could not be contacted after they had paid a deposit.
The suspect for this case will be charged in court Wednesday, and if convicted of cheating, he could be jailed up to 10 years and fined.
Vulcan Post has reported on a cryptocurrency scam that took place in April this year, as Singaporeans fell prey to a multilevel marketing (MLM) fraud.
Last year, a similar scam had been going around where the culprit would ‘catfish’ someone on your Facebook friends list to ask for your contact number and your OTP.
Thankfully, my colleague averted becoming a victim by actually verifying with her friend.
When YouTrip uncovered and foiled S$96,000 worth of fraud on its platform, Kelvin Lam, Country Manager for YouTrip Singapore had advised to “never reveal your credit card information publicly”.
Seems like the common modus operandi for scammers is to ask for your contact number and OTPs, and in some cases, credit or debit card numbers or bank account details.
Do be careful even if the person requesting for these details seems to be your close and trusted friend or family member.
Verify their authenticity before making any sort of monetary transactions with them via another method besides the platform they contacted you with.
The police also warned that even though sellers may provide Singapore bank account numbers and copies of their identification cards to gain trust and credibility, as these may not belong to the sellers or the people communicating to buyers online.
Featured Image Credit: Vulcan Post