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More migrant workers and maids are falling victim to scams

Loan Scams

More migrant workers and maids are falling victim to scams

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SINGAPORE – When Sam (not his real name), a migrant worker, accepted a job offer on June 20 last year, all he wanted was to earn more money quickly, so that he could build a bigger and more comfortable home for his family in Bangladesh.

The 45-year-old, who last saw his loved ones in August 2019, said: “I think everyone has plans to build their own house. It is my plan to build a nice house for my family.”

Two days later, Sam, who works as a production coordinator in a warehouse here, lost more than $11,000, which is almost equivalent to his salary for a year, to a job scam.

He told The Straits Times that he responded to a WhatsApp message from a foreign number which informed him that he could earn a commission by completing 60 orders on an online portal. However, he had to deposit some money into a bank account first.

Sam put in $135 on June 21 and received $404 on the same day.

The next day, he made eight transactions amounting to $11,730, but was unable to retrieve his money later because he could not complete the orders.

That was when he realised that he had fallen for a scam and made a police report on the same day. The police confirmed that a report was lodged and are investigating.

Last year, there were 3,181 migrant workers who were victims of scams, up from 1,965 in 2020, said the police.

About 357 domestic workers were scammed last year, an increase from the 216 in 2020.

As at December last year, there were 246,300 migrant domestic workers in Singapore and…

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