At least 55 victims have lost no less than $507,000 to a lottery scam in 2023, the police said last Thursday.
The victims would receive unsolicited messages from scammers over WhatsApp or other social media platforms. In these messages, the scammers would either claim to represent religious figures, or be affiliated to religious figures.
The scammers would then ask the victims if they would like to be blessed with wealth, the police said.
After the victims agree, the scammers would offer to buy lottery numbers for the victims and then inform them that they had won.
The victims would then be asked to transfer a portion of their winnings or pay various administrative fees before they could get their full winnings.
The victims would realise that they had been scammed when the scammers repeatedly delayed the transfer of the winnings.
The police advised the public to protect themselves from scams by installing the ScamShield App and being wary of offers that promise financial windfalls, and offers that request money transfers in return for a larger fortune.
The police said that the public should also report suspicious numbers to WhatsApp to initiate in-app blocking and report any suspected fraudulent social media posts or users.