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Singapore

More than S$70 million lost this year to email scammers impersonating business partners, employees

More than S$70 million lost this year to email scammers impersonating business partners, employees

FILE PHOTO: A man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration

SINGAPORE: Victims have lost at least S$70.8 million this year to scammers impersonating business partners or employees via spoofed emails, the Singapore Police Force said in a news release on Saturday (May 21).

Since January this year, at least 149 victims have fallen prey to such scams, where scammers used hacked or spoofed email accounts to pose as colleagues, business partners or suppliers.

The spoofed email addresses often included slight misspellings or replacement of letters, which may not be obvious at first glance, said the police.

The email would inform the victims that there was a change in their companies’ bank account number and ask them to transfer payments to another bank account, said the police.

The victims would believe that they had received a genuine email and transfer money to the new bank account.

In some cases, the victims were asked to assist their supervisor to purchase gift cards and provide the activation keys.

The victims would only find out that they had fallen prey to the scam when they clarified with their supplier or supervisor and realised that they did not make any request or receive any payment, said the police.

Source: CNA/aj

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