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Police warn of scammers impersonating online marketplace employees

Police warn of scammers impersonating online marketplace employees

A screenshot of an email purportedly sent by an online marketplace. (Image: Singapore Police Force)

SINGAPORE: A new phishing scam has emerged where victims are targeted by scammers impersonating employees of online marketplaces, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said on Friday (Sep 24).

Victims received unsolicited phone calls from scammers who claimed that they were verifying whether the victims had made purchases on the e-commerce platform, said police. The callers would also claim that the victims' accounts may have been compromised.

“At this instance, victims would inform the scammer to cancel the purchase order as they did not make any purchase on the platform,” SPF said in a news release.

“The caller would then request for victims to provide their credit/debit card numbers and one-time password (OTP) received on their phones in order to facilitate the refund process.”

In some cases, victims received follow-up emails from scammers claiming that there were issues with the victims’ account payment methods.

The email would instruct the victims to rectify the issue by updating their payment method and address through a link provided.

“Victims would realise that they had fallen prey to scam when they discovered unauthorised transactions made to their credit/debit card,” SPF said.

    The police advised members of the public to adopt the following crime prevention measures:

    • Avoid answering calls with a “+” prefix unless you are expecting a call from overseas
    • Verify the authenticity of calls supposedly from online marketplaces with official websites or sources. In the case of this scam, check your credit or debit card bills for unknown transactions with the online marketplace and contact the marketplace directly through information on its official website
    • Never share your OTPs with anyone, and verify the merchant details and amount indicated whenever you receive an OTP
    • Report any fraudulent transactions to your bank immediately, and terminate the credit or debit card involved
    • Look out for spoofed email addresses and dubious URLs
    Source: CNA/kg

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