SINGAPORE – Mr Lin (not his real name) was not familiar with investments. But last December, a woman he befriended on Facebook encouraged him to open a trading account and introduced him to a broker she knew.

Trusting her, he invested much of his life savings into the account twice since Jan 1.

“I wanted to earn a bit more due to the pandemic,” said Mr Lin, who works in the food and beverage industry. But two weeks later, he was told his trades had failed and that he owed the broker around $53,000.

“I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat,” Mr Lin said. “These are savings that I’ve saved bit by bit, from working over the years.”

Last Thursday evening (Jan 28), Mr Lin was baking cookies for Chinese New Year when the Anti-Scam Centre (ASC) of the Singapore Police Force contacted him.

That was when he learnt the bank account of the broker he had transferred almost $50,000 to has been investigated for an investment scam.

Mr Lin was one of more than 200…

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