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Singapore

Police warn of new tech support scam impersonating PayPal

Police warn of new tech support scam impersonating PayPal

Image of a fake invoice received by victims of the tech support scam. (Photo: Singapore Police Force)

SINGAPORE: The police on Wednesday (May 18) warned of a new variant of technical support scams involving the impersonation of online payments company PayPal that is aimed at gaining access to and stealing money from victims’ bank accounts.

At least four victims have fallen for the scam this year, with one person losing about S$33,000, said the police in a news release.

In these cases, victims would receive emails containing PayPal invoices listing details of unauthorised transactions for goods or services from third-party vendors.

Victims who contacted the helpline contact number included in the email to dispute the transactions and request for a refund would be transferred to a scammer impersonating an “agent from the third-party vendor”, said the police.

The scammer, claiming to be able to assist the victims, would instruct them to download a software on their computers to cancel the transaction.

Victims would not realise that the software would enable the scammers to remotely control their computers, the police said.

Once the software had been installed on the victims’ computers, the scammers would request for the victims to log into their online bank accounts. The scammers would then take over the computers and transfer funds out of the victims’ accounts without their consent.

The police said that those who believe they have fallen for the scam should immediately turn off their computers to halt further activities.

They should report the incident to their bank to stop further unauthorised access to their bank accounts and change their iBanking credentials as well as remove any unauthorised payees added to their bank accounts. Victims should also report the matter to the police.

The police also advised members of the public to adopt these preventive measures:

  • Beware of unsolicited emails from dubious parties;
  • Do not panic and do not follow instructions to install applications, type commands into your computer or log into your online banking accounts. You should also not provide your name, identification number, passport details, contact details, bank account or credit card details when the callers request for the information;
  • When in doubt, always call the official hotline of your telecommunications service provider to verify the call. Call a trusted friend or speak with a relative before you comply with the scammer’s instructions as you may be pressured or confused by the scammers to act impulsively; and
  • Do not click on any links if you believe the email or invoice may be fake. You can forward the email to phishing [at] paypal.com.

Those with any information relating to such crimes can call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit it online.

Source: CNA/ng

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