SINGAPORE: At least S$1.8 million (US$1.3 million) has been lost to fake buyer phishing scams since January, with at least 419 victims falling prey, the police said on Wednesday (Feb 21). 

Such scams involve criminals posing as “buyers” on online platforms, eventually duping victims into providing their internet banking or credit card details. 

There has been a recent spate of fake buyer phishing scams on Facebook and Carousell, said the police in a news release, adding that 38 people are being investigated for their suspected involvement. 

The 29 men and nine women, aged between 17 and 68, were rounded up during a recent week-long anti-scam enforcement operation. 

Preliminary investigations found that most of the individuals facilitated the scams by opening new bank accounts. They then either relinquished the accounts to scammers, sold them for as much as S$1,500 per account or relinquished their Singpass credentials for as much as S$1,000 per set of credentials.

These people would then fail to receive the promised fees from the scammers.

“Some had given away their banking credentials or Singpass credentials in the applications of fake investment schemes, job scams or loan schemes, to purportedly receive earnings from investment, salary or loan,” said the police, adding that one person also helped to receive and transfer money on behalf of the scammers. 

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