SINGAPORE: There were at least 10 reports of WhatsApp accounts being taken over by scammers in January, police said in a media release on Friday (Jan 11).
The victims in those cases received texts requesting for their WhatsApp account verification codes, police said, adding that those texts were sent via the messaging app from their contacts whose account have been compromised.
The victims then lost access to their own WhatsApp accounts after providing the codes to the scammers, police added.
According to the police, scammers use the compromised WhatsApp accounts to deceive victims into making monetary transfers or sending over "Money Online points". They were also used to purchase gift cards and sending over the passwords for those cards.
"The scammers then sold the gift cards online," police said.
The public is advised to beware of such unusual requests made over WhatsApp, even if they were sent by their own contacts.
The public should also verify the authenticity of the requests by calling the contacts directly and enabling the two-step verification feature on the app. This can be done by clicking on the "Settings" tab under "Account" in the app to prevent their accounts from being compromised, police said.
Those who wish to provide information related to such scams can contact the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit the details at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.
To seek scam-related advice, you may call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg.