Police warn of new text messaging scams advertising fake jobs

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has alerted the public to a new trend of scams involving text messages advertising fake jobs with attractive hourly salaries.

Those who fall for the scams may unknowingly be used as money mules to launder proceeds of criminal conduct, the police warned yesterday.

In a statement, they advised the public to follow four precautionary measures when they receive such text messages.

First, they should not click on the suspicious URL links provided. They are advised to always verify the authenticity of information with official websites.

Second, they should not accept job offers that require the use of personal bank accounts to perform money transfers for others, purchase of cryptocurrency on behalf of someone else, or opening of new bank accounts.

They must also never send money to strangers or people they have not met in person.

Finally, the public is advised not to share bank account login credentials with anyone.

Bank account holders are responsible for all transactions made through their personal account.

SPF warned that bank accounts would be frozen if they are used to assist in laundering money from criminal activities, and account holders will be subjected to criminal investigations.

Money mules may be liable for money laundering offences under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, which carries a jail term of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $500,000, or both.

Those who have information on such crimes, or are unsure whether a message is a scam, may call SPF's hotline on 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at SPF's website. 

This article first appeared in The Straits Times.