CNA Explains: When a lucrative job offer turns into a scam, how do you avoid falling for such scams?
In other variations, victims who contact the number provided in the job ad would be instructed to complete tasks online, such as B. Like social media posts or rate hotels and restaurants on a website.
And in a Ponzi-like twist, victims would be encouraged to purchase expensive memberships before participating in lucrative work assignments. They did this often until rising membership costs forced them to stop.
Many realized they had been scammed when they were told they could not get their money back until they completed all the tasks, police said.
Where are these scammers located?
In October last year, two labor fraud syndicates based in Johor and Kuala Lumpur were busted in a joint operation by the Singapore Police Force and the Royal Malaysia Police.
Authorities raided an apartment in Johor and another in Kuala Lumpur and arrested ten Malaysians between the ages of 21 and 32.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the group had targeted Singapore and Malaysian victims and laundered their proceeds from crime in Malaysia. The syndicate is believed to have targeted more than 390 reported victims in Singapore and swindled them out of S$5 million.
How to avoid being scammed?
Police have urged job seekers to beware of online ads promising the convenience of working from home and a high salary for “relatively easy” job tasks.
Legitimate companies will not require job seekers to make upfront payments to secure job offers and earn commissions, or use their own bank accounts to receive money on behalf of the companies, police said.
“These acts are common tricks used by scammers to trick individuals into participating in their schemes or scams,” she added.
According to scamalert.sg, if you receive an unsolicited job offer, always verify the authenticity of the offer with the hiring company through their official channels. You can verify the information using the Recruitment section of the Company website or by emailing Human Resources.
The anti-scam website also urged the public not to respond to dubious job offers or download unverified apps from unknown sources to apply for a job.
Why do some still fall for it?
Aside from being initially paid for the work, victims are often added to a WhatsApp group of members purporting to do the same work.
These people chatted about their daily lives, shared screenshots of the attractive sums of money they were being paid, and actively denied that the job was a scam. These create an air of legitimacy for the victim.
When people were individually questioned about whether it was a scam, people went to extra lengths to convince them otherwise, telling the victim that they were “crazy” and that no one had previously doubted the legitimacy of the job , according to a CNA investigation in January.
The scam’s front company would also have a legitimate and professional-looking website, complete with details such as a phone number.
Can you get your money back?
As with any type of scam, time is of the essence when it comes to tracking down and recovering lost funds.
The money is usually routed through multiple accounts to avoid detection, and once it leaves Singapore it becomes even more difficult to get it back.
Police can freeze bank accounts and successfully recover money sent abroad. However, this is not a guarantee, especially since some jurisdictions may require victims to go through complicated and expensive court procedures.
Police have also consistently reminded people to refuse requests to use their personal bank accounts to receive and transfer money for others, lest they risk becoming involved in money laundering activities.