Police warn of phishing scams after nearly 30-fold spike in cases

Police warn of phishing scams after nearly 30-fold spike in cases

Screengrabs of phishing SMS directing victims to fake website impersonating SingPost.
Screengrab of phishing SMS directing victims to fake website impersonating SingPost. (Image: Singapore Police Force)

SINGAPORE: The number of phishing scams in the first five months of 2020 has increased to 266 cases, almost 30 times the nine cases reported in the same period last year, police said on Tuesday (Jun 9).

At least 221 reports have been lodged since January 2020, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a news release.

“Members of the public who have fallen victim to such phishing scams would receive e-mails or text messages purportedly sent from a company they know or trust, such as banks, government agencies, trade unions like NTUC, or companies such as SingPost, StarHub, Netflix and PayPal,” police said.

Screengrabs of phishing email and payment page impersonating Netflix
Screengrabs of phishing email and payment page impersonating Netflix requesting victims to enter their payment card details. (Image: Singapore Police Force)

SingPost scam 2
Screengrab of payment page impersonating SingPost requesting victims to enter their payment card details. (Image: Singapore Police Force)

The messages usually include fake offers or claims to trick recipients into clicking on a link, with some asking recipients to make a payment for a parcel delivery, verify their account to avoid service disruptions or requesting that recipients provide their details to obtain refunds or take advantage of promotions.

Screengrab of Phishing email impersonating PayPal
Screengrab of Phishing email impersonating PayPal. (Image: Singapore Police Force)

Screengrab of payment page impersonating PayPal
Screengrab of payment page impersonating PayPal requesting victims to enter their payment card details. (Image: Singapore Police Force)

After clicking the links, victims will be redirected to fraudulent websites where they will be required to provide their credit/debit card details and a one-time password (OTP).

Most victims only realise that they have been scammed when they discover unauthorised transactions made using their credit or debit card, police said.

The authorities reported last month that it saw 151 phishing cases being reported, with trusted companies like StarHub and SingPost among the top companies being impersonated.

Composite screengrabs of Phishing email impersonating Starhub
Composite screengrabs of Phishing email impersonating StarHub. (Image: Singapore Police Force)

Composite screengrabs of login and payment pages impersonating StarHub
Composite screengrabs of login and payment pages impersonating StarHub requesting victims to enter their payment card details. (Image: Singapore Police Force)

The police advised members of the public to follow these crime prevention measures:

  • Do not click on URL links provided in unsolicited emails and text messages.
  • Always verify the authenticity of the information with the official website or sources.
  • Never disclose personal or Internet banking details and OTP to anyone.
  • Report any fraudulent credit/debit card charges to your bank and cancel your card immediately.

Those who wish to provide any information related to such phishing scams can call the police hotline at 1800 255 0000 or submit their information online at https://www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.

Members of the public may also call the anti-scam helpline at 1800 722 6688 or visit http://www.scamalert.sg to seek scam-related advice. 

Source: CNA/ec(hs)

Bookmark