Victims lose S$1.2mil to fraudulent fund recovery services since January 2024


Scammers typically pose as legal firms or financial service companies and contact victims. - SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE: Beware of fund recovery service scams that claim to offer assistance in recouping losses from previous fraudulent activities, the police have advised the public.

Since the start of 2024, victims of such scams in at least 29 cases have collectively lost more than US$1.2 million, according to a police statement on Feb 29.

These scammers typically pose as legal firms or financial service companies and contact victims through calls, messages, or e-mails. They offer to help recover funds lost to scams or bad investments.

Some victims encountered these services advertised online, such as on Facebook, and contacted the scammers themselves.

Victims were asked to make upfront payments for administrative procedures through bank transfers, cryptocurrency, or virtual credits.

Some victims were tricked into providing banking credentials, debit or credit card details, or one-time passwords (OTPs). Alternatively, they were instructed to download remote access software like AnyDesk, giving scammers access to their devices and bank accounts.

In the reported cases, the victims realised they had been scammed when funds were not recovered as promised, the scammers could not be contacted any more, or after they checked with official sources such as banks or the police.

The police advised the public to check if a law firm is registered with the Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA) through the LSRA directory.

Additional precautionary measures include installing the ScamShield App on their mobile devices to block scam calls and SMSes, checking for scam signs and with official sources, and telling the authorities, family, and friends about potential scams.

Those who have information on such crimes or are in doubt can contact the police hotline on 1800-255-0000, or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. For urgent police assistance, call 999. - The Straits Times/ANN

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