Man arrested for illegally obtaining personal particulars via fraudulent QR codes at HDB blocks
SINGAPORE: A 39-year-old man was arrested last week for his alleged involvement in a series of fraudulent QR codes, which were put up at the lift lobbies of some Housing and Development Board blocks in Bukit Batok in order to obtain the personal particulars of feedback providers.
The posters included a QR code masquerading as the OneService (OS) Lite QR code, but instead brought users to a phishing website asking for personal information.
In a joint news release on Friday (Dec 3), the police and the Municipal Services Office (MSO) said that the man was arrested on Jan 26 after officers from Jurong Police Division established his identity.
The man, who was not named, is believed to be involved in multiple similar cases across the island.
The police received reports of the fraudulent QR codes between December last year and January.
The posters have since been taken down, and the MSO has also alerted all town councils to the matter. The town councils have conducted the necessary checks on the OS Lite QR codes in their towns, said the police and MSO.
MSO sits under the Ministry of National Development and works with government agencies on issues related to municipal services.
OS Lite is an initiative that allows residents to report issues or complaints through an online form.
MSO previously said that users who scanned the fraudulent QR code were brought to a website containing an online form for them to provide feedback. The website also asked for their name, email address, contact number and address.
A screenshot of the phishing website appeared to offer mortgage loans under OneService's name, claiming to help users access "the best rates from all banks".
The fraudulent website has since been taken down and replaced by an advisory indicating that it is a suspected scam website," said MSO.
Police investigations are ongoing.
Those convicted of illegally obtaining personal information under the Section 416A of the Penal Code 1871 can be fined up to S$10,000 or jailed for up to three years, or punished with both.
In their joint news release, the police and MSO urged members of the public "to remain viligant when accessing websites, and to always check the authenticity of the website before providing your personal details".
QR codes and links associated with OneService always lead to websites on the “gov.sg” domain, and are of A4-size and printed on wall-mounted, hard acrylic board, they added.
"All OneService feedback channels, including OS Lite, are also designed to work without feedback providers having to provide any personally identifiable information.
"OS Lite users who want to be updated about their cases need only provide their mobile number (which MSO will verify via a one-time password), and how they would like to be addressed. It is not necessary to provide a full name," the authorities said.