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8 people linked to DBS phishing scams charged; offences include disclosing Singpass details for monetary gains

8 people linked to DBS phishing scams charged; offences include disclosing Singpass details for monetary gains

View of the DBS Bank building in Singapore. (File photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: Six men and two women, aged between 16 and 27, were charged on Friday (Jun 24) over their suspected involvement in the recent spate of DBS phishing scams where more than S$60,000 were lost.

They are accused of disclosing their Singpass details to unknown people for monetary gains, deleting chat records relevant for investigations and deceiving banks into opening accounts. 

“The Singpass accounts were used by criminals to open bank accounts to launder proceeds of crime derived from the recent spate of DBS Phishing scams where more than 60 victims had fallen prey to, and suffered financial losses amounting to more than $60,000,” said the police in a news release on Friday.

According to court documents, six of the suspects are Iskandar Malik, 27, Muhammed Farhaan Syaqir Kamis, 20, Amani Oliveira, 24, Muhammad Fariz Zulhelmi Rizal, 22, Nur Farhanah Samsuri, 18, and Shahrul Rezal Mawi, 24.

The two remaining suspects, aged 16 and 17, cannot be named as they are under 18 years old and protected under the Children and Young Persons Act.

FIVE DISCLOSED SINGPASS DETAILS FOR MONETARY GAINS

Five of the suspects - Iskandar Malik, Muhammed Farhaan, Muhammad Fariz, Nur Farhanah and the 17-year-old – allegedly gave their Singpass details to unknown people for up to S$1,500.

“Some of them did not receive any monetary benefits as the recipients of their credentials turned evasive after successfully opening the bank accounts,” said the police.

Three men who allegedly deleted communications records were each charged with an additional offence of intentionally obstructing the course of justice.

According to court documents, Iskandar Malik, who was said to be on remission order, allegedly deleted WhatsApp chat records that contained information relating to him disclosing his Singpass details to an unknown person.

Muhammad Fariz allegedly gave false information to the police that he gave his Singpass account to an unknown person over messaging app Telegram for the purpose of a car loan.

Court documents state that Shahrul Rezal had caused Muhammad Fariz to do so.

The 16-year-old allegedly opened an account with UOB and deceived the bank that she would be the sole user of the account.

Amani Oliveira was accused of instigating another person into person into doing the same.

BACKGROUND OF THE PHISHING SCAMS

Earlier this month, the police received reports of the scams. The victims received unsolicited SMSes with tags like “SG-DBS” or “DBS-Notice”, which stated that their cards had been blocked due to unusual activities or that their bank accounts had been frozen due to suspicious activities.

The SMSes then directed the victims to sign in via an embedded link to verify their identity, said the police.

The link redirected the victims to a spoofed Internet banking log-in page, where they would be asked to key in their online banking username and password, as well as bank card details.

They would then be redirected to another spoofed web page, which would request them to key in the One-Time Passwords (OTPs) they received on their mobile phones.

"This compromised their accounts and allowed scammers to siphon off funds, with victims finding out only later that they had fallen prey to the scam," said the police.

To avoid being involved in scam activities, members of the public should always reject “seemingly attractive money-making opportunities” promising pay-outs for the use of their Singpass account, bank account or mobile lines.

“The Police would like to remind members of the public that individuals will be held accountable if they are found to be linked to such crimes.”

If found guilty of disclosing Singpass details for wrongful gain, first-time offenders may be jailed up to three years, fined up to S$10,000 or both.

For intentionally obstructing, preventing, perverting or defeating the course of justice, offenders may be jailed up to seven years and fined.

Source: CNA/lk(gr)

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