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Police warn of re-emergence of phishing scams involving e-wallets

Police warn of re-emergence of phishing scams involving e-wallets

File photo of a person using her mobile phone. (Photo: CNA/Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Police Force (SPF) have warned about the re-emergence of phishing scams involving e-wallets. 

In a news release on Thursday (Jan 13), the police said it had "observed at least 1,200 cases" of phishing scams since December last year. 

The police said that the e-wallet phishing scam which has re-emerged involves scammers applying for e-wallets with information gathered from victims. 

Victims received unsolicited calls via messaging applications such as WhatsApp, Viber or IMO. Victims would then speak to callers who claimed to be from a Government agency such as the SPF or Ministry of Manpower, the police said.  

"These callers often displayed the official insignia or picture of officers from these Government agencies as their profile picture, to reinforce their ruse," said police. 

"In some cases, the caller would initiate a video call through these messaging applications while dressed in a uniform similar to that worn by SPF officers."

During the conversation with the scammers, victims would be asked to provide their personal information, banking credentials and one-time password (OTP) for verification purposes or to assist in investigations.

“Using the information provided by victims, the scammers would then create an e-wallet using applications such as DBS PayLah!, Singtel Dash or GrabPay in the name of the victims, and top up the said e-wallet through the victim’s bank account. In some cases, victims were told to do cash top-ups to the e-wallets at AXS machines or at convenience stores,” the police said.  

The victims would later receive notifications informing them that various transactions were made from their bank account to their e-wallet and would only realise that they have been scammed when they contacted the banks to verify these transactions.

Government agencies will never contact members of the public via messaging applications to obtain your personal information, banking credentials or OTPs, the police said. 

The police advised members of the public to adopt the following precautions when they receive unsolicited calls via phone or messaging applications:

  • Ignore the instructions. No Government agency will obtain personal information through a telephone call
     
  • Never disclose your personal or Internet banking details, including NRIC, NRIC issue date and OTP to anyone
     
  • Always verify the authenticity of the information by contacting the relevant government agencies through their official hotline
     
  • Report any fraudulent transactions to your bank immediately
Source: CNA/fh(rw)

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