Other common scams


In November last year, there was a spate of scams involving con men pretending to call from major software companies.

They tricked people into paying for additional software and got them to download malware. They even had victims give out their credit card details.

This led to some computers getting remotely controlled and used for illegal online activities.


Con men, mostly claiming to be from the UK, target women searching for love on dating sites or social networks.

Once they befriend the victim, they correspond through e-mail or phone calls.

In some cases, the scammer says he intends to visit Singapore to propose. On the stated day of arrival, he will call to say he has been detained by Customs for carrying excess cash, and he asks the victim to transfer funds to secure his release.

In other cases, the suspect will claim to send valuable items such as designer bags and watches. The victim will be asked to transfer funds to clear penalty charges on the items.


Scammers, who typically claim to be located overseas, place orders with online sellers.

The scammers will send fake e-mails, usually from Paypal, notifying sellers that payment has been received. The victims will then send the items to the overseas addresses.


Con men convince male victims to buy gift cards or online shopping credit in exchange for a meet-up, date or sexual liaison.

The scammers typically insist the victims buy the cards from AXS machines or convenience stores before sending images of the receipts, along with the PIN, for them to claim the credit.

Victims were befriended on social media platforms such as WeChat and iAround and they communicated through online messaging and phone calls.


Scammers gain access to a person's mobile messaging app account to impersonate him.

They will send requests to buy gift cards to the account holder's friends or family members. These cards are meant for redeeming monetary credits online.

Scammers will then ask the victim's friends and family to send messages or photos containing the redemption codes over mobile messaging apps.

They redeem all the value of the gift cards before the victims realise their mistake.


People posing as sellers ask buyers for further payments on the pretext of mistaken delivery orders.

Victims typically accede to the request, but do not receive the items.

The payments made by the victims are quickly transferred out of local bank accounts to overseas accounts, making it difficult to trace and get back the stolen funds.


In typical cases, a female scammer befriends her victim, usually male.

The scammer coaxes the victim into undressing and performing indecent acts in front of a webcam.

The scammer video records the act and blackmails the victim.