At least 180 victims lost $2.6 million in December to social media job offer scams

The victims got the unsolicited job offers from the scammers in December 2023 after being added to chat groups on messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram.


Victims are given a link to a fake TikTok website to complete advanced tasks, and are shown fake contracts to agree to. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE/ THE STRAITS TIMES

January 9, 2024

SINGAPORE – At least 180 people lost about $2.6 million in just one month after taking up fake job offers from conmen who later convinced them to transfer large sums of money in return for easy profits.

The victims got the unsolicited job offers from the scammers in December 2023 after being added to chat groups on messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram.

They were then asked to get on social media platforms and perform specific tasks to earn a commission, the police said on Jan 8.

The tasks included following the TikTok or Instagram accounts of social media influencers, subscribing to YouTube channels and videos, or “liking” songs on Spotify.

“In some cases, scammers may also claim to represent TikTok or online communications and marketing companies when they approached victims with job offers.”

After completing the tasks, victims got a small commission, and were persuaded to complete more tasks in return for more money.

These tasks included getting the victims to create accounts on fake websites, and making them transfer large sums of money to bank accounts or cryptocurrency accounts provided by the scammers, with the promise of better returns.

In some cases, the conmen even offered victims fake employment contracts.

“Victims would only realise that they had been scammed when their website account showed a negative account balance, and they were told to pay additional funds in order to upgrade their accounts or when they failed to withdraw their earnings,” the statement said.

Victims said the conmen sent unsolicited WhatsApp or Telegram messages telling them they had won a prize and would get a commission when they completed tasks such as “following” an account on Instagram.

Victims were then added to chat groups where they got instructions to get active on social media sites or transfer cash under the pretence of investment opportunities.

The police said members of the public need to guard against such scams by using the ScamShield app, enabling security features such as setting transaction limits for Internet banking, and setting up two-factor authentication.

Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security that users can put in place before logging in to an online account or making an online transaction. It is usually a random code sent to a mobile device or a token.

Users should check if the offer is a scam by referring to official sources like the Anti-Scam Helpline or the Scam Alert website.

The police said: “Always verify the authenticity of job offers through official channels or sources, and do not accept dubious job offers that offer lucrative returns for minimal effort.

“Do not engage or believe claims made in any messaging app group chats that you are randomly added or invited into, and do not click on suspicious URL links or download apps from unknown sources.”

Anyone who gets such messages can lodge a report using tools available on the WhatsApp and Telegram applications.

Singaporeans with details on scams or have doubts about the veracity of messages can call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or go to

If in need of urgent police assistance, they can call 999.

More information can be found on Individuals can also call the Anti-Scam telephone hotline on 1800-772-6688.

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