WhatsApp Scam Soliciting ‘Donations’ For Oxygen Tanks Sent To India

Now that most conversations are online, we often use messaging platforms like WhatsApp to converse with friends and family.

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However, there are cases when the app is used for more nefarious means.

Recently, scammers have found a way to hack into unsuspecting individuals’ WhatsApp accounts to solicit donations from their contacts.

These donations come under the guise of purchasing Oxygen Concentrator Machines to be sent to India, which is currently experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases.

Responding to the rise of such cases, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) has implored the public to not engage with these scammers, even if they may seemingly be familiar contacts.

WhatsApp scammers ask for donations to purchase oxygen tanks

In a public service announcement today (7 May), SPF issued a cautionary message, warning the public of an “oxygen machine donation” scam.

According to them, these scammers will claim to be raising funds to purchase Oxygen Concentrator Machines for donation to India.

They would request for the victims to assist with the purchase or donate to the cause, and emphasise the need for urgency.

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They would then provide a bank account number for fund transfer while claiming it belongs to the supplier of said machines.

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Victims will realise the scam only later, when the contact becomes uncontactable. In some instances, they find out after a loved one informs them that their accounts had been hacked.

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Verify any WhatsApp requests offline

Police have also urged the public to be wary of unusual requests via WhatsApp, even if they come from familiar contacts.

One should do their due diligence and verify these requests with the person directly, either offline or through a different platform.

More importantly, you should never send money to people you don’t know, or have never met in real life.

Should you encounter any unauthorised transactions, make sure to report them to the bank promptly to minimise losses.

Always keep your guard up

Scammers will always find new ways to evolve their scams, even at the expense of real-life tragedies.

So it becomes imperative that we keep our guards up when it comes to receiving unusual messages and requests.

You can also do your part by reporting such scams here or by contacting the police at 1800-255-0000.

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at hello@mustsharenews.com.

Featured image adapted from 9to5Mac and Singapore Police Force.