Singapore police saved at least two people from falling victims to a bitcoin scam. Scammers had manipulated people to purchase bitcoins from bitcoin machines with their own money, but police saved them at the last moment.
Police officers from Bukit Merah East Neighbourhood Police Centre prevented two victims from buying bitcoins via bitcoin machines under the instructions of scammers, according to the Straitstimes report. Scammers in Singapore are using bitcoin machines to scam people and stay away from police radar.
Scammer manipulated victim via dating app.
According to the report, a person who wishes to be only referred to as Mr. J revealed that a woman contacted him on a dating app in September, and they began to talk via text, calls, and sometimes video calls. After they became friends, the girl started to ask for money to help her with an issue. The girl began to ask more money, and each time she made Mr. J deposit money into a different bank account. In November, she asked him to buy her some bitcoins from a bitcoin machine.
Just as Mr. J was about to purchase bitcoins, the local officer interfered, and when Mr. J showed the police officer his chat logs with the woman, the officer told him that he was the victim of a love scam. Mr. J shared his experience to warn others about such scams.
Scammers are using bitcoin machines to avoid police detection.
The police officer Ho Cher Hin, in charge of Commercial Crime Squad at Central Police Division, said that increasing the use of bitcoin machines is an example of scammers’ mode of operation to avoid detection and disruption of their criminal activities. He warned people not to share their personal information with anyone. He also noted that no government agency or official would request for personal details or transfer of money over the phone or through automated voice machines.