SINGAPORE, Jan 6 — The police yesterday warned members of the public of new banking-related phishing scams involving impersonation of government officials.
These scams have been reported since December 2020, the police said in a statement.
Victims have reported receiving phone calls or messages purportedly from government agencies such as the Singapore Police Force or Ministry of Manpower.
These “agencies” would claim that there were issues with the victims’ bank accounts.
The victims would then be asked to verify their banking or personal particulars such as internet banking log-in credentials, identity card numbers and one-time passwords (OTPs).
“The victims would realise that they had been scammed when they discovered unauthorised transactions made from their accounts,” the police said.
From January to June 2020, almost 900 cases of banking-related phishing scams were reported, with total losses amounting to more than S$3.6 million (RM10.95 million).
This is a huge jump from the same period in 2019, when 34 cases of such scams were reported, with total losses amounting to over S$93,000.
The police advise members of the public to follow these crime prevention measures:
1. Don’t panic — Ignore the call and caller’s instructions.
“No government agency will request personal details or bank account log-in details over the phone,” the police said.”Call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before you act as you may be overwhelmed by emotion and err in your judgement.”
2. Don’t believe — Scammers may use caller-ID-spoofing technology to mask the actual phone numbers and display a different number.
Calls seemingly from a Singapore number may not really be made from Singapore, the police said.
They also urged the public to stay vigilant when receiving unexpected international calls, and reject those with spoof Singapore numbers.
3. Don’t give any information — Never disclose your personal or Internet banking details and OTP to anyone.Members of the public may visit www.police.gov.sg/iwitness or call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 to provide information on such scams.
For more information, go to www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688. ― TODAY