Police have observed an increase in scams involving the non-delivery of travel-related services, including visa applications, arrival card applications and flight bookings made through fake travel agent websites. Since January 2022, at least 35 victims have fallen prey to such scams, with losses amounting to at least $34,000.
In these cases, the victims were accessing fake travel agent websites to arrange their trip. The websites tricked victims into entering their personal data and payment card details to get the travel-related services they were looking for. After entering their details for the first time, victims received more emails asking them to provide more information to complete their request. Victims would realize that they had been scammed after checking with the relevant authorities and companies and discovering that their applications and purchases had never been processed.
The Police would like to advise members of the public to adopt the following precautionary measures:
- Check with official sources such as the Singapore Tourism Board (www.stb.gov.sg) and the National Association of Travel Agents of Singapore (natas.travel) if the seller is a licensed travel agent.
- Buy only from authorized sellers or trusted sources. Buying cheap tickets from resellers is risky – If the price is too good to be true, it probably is; and
- Refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (https://www.mfa.gov.sg/Where-Are-You-Travelling-To) to ensure that you are using the correct website for your travel inquiries outside of Singapore.
- Check the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority website (https://www.ica.gov.sg/enter-depart) for Singapore entry requirements.
- Report any fraudulent credit or debit card charges to your bank and cancel your card immediately.
If you have information relating to such crimes, please call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. All information will be kept strictly confidential. If you need urgent police assistance, please dial ‘999’.
For more information on the scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Helpline at 1800-722-6688. Join the ‘Spot the Signs. Stop the Crimes campaign in https://www.scamalert.sg/resources/fight by signing up as an advocate to receive up-to-date messages and share them with family and friends. Together we can help stop scams and prevent our loved ones from becoming the next victim.
PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
July 05, 2022 at 2:10 p.m.