SINGAPORE: A new job scam involving a fake mobile application called “Shopee Pay” has seen at least 11 victims cheated of about S$53,000 since December.
In the scam, victims were invited to participate in jobs that promised commission earnings through the sale of products via the application, police said in a news release on Friday (Jan 7).
“Shopee Pay” is unrelated to the e-commerce platform Shopee, which said its e-wallet feature ShopeePay is accessible only on its official application.
“In these cases, victims were typically introduced to the ‘job’ by friends or after being approached on social media platforms,” police said.
They would then be instructed to download the fake application through a website address given to them.
“To fulfil ‘job’ requirements and to transact within the fake mobile application, the victims would be instructed to deposit funds into their ‘Shopee Pay’ accounts by purchasing cryptocurrency and transferring them to cryptocurrency wallet addresses indicated within the application,” police added.
“In some instances, the cryptocurrency would be purchased through peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions via bank transfer or PayNow, before being transferred to the scammers’ cryptocurrency wallets.”
After completing the transactions, the fake mobile application would reflect that funds were available to victims for their “jobs”.
They would then earn commission from completing orders, which would then be reflected within the application.
Victims would discover that they have been scammed when they were unable to withdraw the commissions reflected in their “Shopee Pay” accounts.
“In some instances, victims were informed that the ‘Singapore Monetary Authority’ had frozen their ‘Shopee Pay’ accounts and further fund top-ups were needed to release funds from their accounts,” police said.
Members of the public are advised to take precautionary measures, such as refusing dubious job offers that offer lucrative returns for minimal effort.
Police also warned against downloading applications from unverified sources, and sending money to or transact in cryptocurrencies with people they do not personally know or have not met in person.