Singapore police issue warning over religious lottery scam

Police say scammers claim to represent religious figures.
Police say scammers claim to represent religious figures.

Police say at least 55 people have lost over US$376,896 to scammers.

Singapore.- Police say that at least 55 people have fallen victim to a lottery scam purportedly run by religious figures. The scammers target their victims through unsolicited messages on WhatsApp or other social media platforms.

In these messages, the scammers pose as religious figures or claimed to be affiliated with religious groups. They then ask the victims if they wanted to be blessed with wealth.

Once the victim agrees, the scammers offer to buy lottery numbers for them and then inform them that they had won. The victims are then asked to transfer a sum of money or pay various administrative fees before they can receive their winnings. The scammers repeatedly delay the transfer of the winnings and eventually disappeared.

According to The Straits Times, those scammed have lost over SG$507,000 (US$376,896). Police are recommending the use of the ScamShield app and to beware of offers that promise big financial windfalls or request money transfers.

The Singapore government developed the ScamShield app to help protect people from scams by identifying fraudulent numbers and providing tips on how to avoid them. The police also recommend that people report suspicious numbers to WhatsApp, which can initiate in-app blocking. They also advise reporting suspected fraudulent social media posts or users.

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