Spot the signs. Stop the crimes.
13 October 2020
The Singapore Police Force and the National Crime Prevention Council (“NCPC”) have rolled out the sixth edition of their annual anti-scam campaign: "Spot the signs. Stop the crimes." The campaign runs from August 2020 to March 2021, with a focus on sharing real scam examples with the public to educate people on how to spot the various telltale signs of scams.
E-commerce scams, social media impersonation ruses, loan scams and banking-related scams topped the list of common scams, with surges in the number of cases in each of these categories. The amount lost in the 10 most common types of scams doubled to S$82 million, up from the $41.6 million that scammers made off with in the first six months of 2019. A sharp 139 per cent year-on-year rise in cases in the 10 main categories of scams for the first six months of this year.
Mr Gerald Singham, Chairman of NCPC encouraged members of the public to not only stop and think before revealing personal details or handing over one-time passwords, but to also take the extra step of verifying information with a third party or the authorities.
"If someone approaches you for personal information or asks for banking details, it must raise suspicion. The onus must be on us - the potential victim - to stop the crimes from happening and cut off communication before any important information can be divulged."
Learn to spot the signs and stop the crimes - https://www.scamalert.sg/
The Straits Times (26 August 2020) - $82 million lost through top 10 scams in first half of 2020, double the amount from a year ago
The Straits Times (27 August 2020) - New education campaign launched to address rising scam numbers
2 October 2020
We received reports of ongoing SMS scams impersonating Maybank to offer loans. If the victim contacts the number in the SMS, the scammer may attempt to impersonate Maybank staff to place a “deposit” before the loan is disbursed.
Sample of the SMS – September 2020
How to protect yourself from scams
- Be alert and always verify the details in the messages from Maybank. Always check that the message reflects your intended actions and do not proceed or authorise suspicious transactions.
- Contact us at 1800-MAYBANK (1800-629 2265) or (65) 6533 5229 (Overseas) to verify the contents of the SMS.
- Never reply to unsolicited SMS or emails. Responding to such SMSes or emails may be used by scammers for social engineering or trick the victims into divulging confidential account and internet banking information.
24 July 2020
The Singapore Police Force (“SPF”) would like to educate the public regarding the increase in impersonation scams involving bank officials and authorities such as IRAS officers. These scammers will usually ask for the following Internet banking details:
- Account Usernames
- Personal Identification Numbers (PIN)
- One-time Passwords (OTP)
These scammers will try to impersonate bank officials or authorities and request the victim to conduct the following actions:
- provide their Internet banking credentials over the phone or on fraudulent websites
- provide SMS OTP or security token approval
- update funds transfer limit
- perform funds transfers to a new account
Scammers would then proceed to transfer money out of their victims’ accounts using the details provided.
How to protect yourself
- Do not reply or click on URLs in suspicious SMSes or emails.
- Beware of phishing websites that may look genuine.
- Do not give out your Internet Banking credentials, SMS OTP or security token approval to other individuals.
If you suspect you have provided your internet banking credentials, SMS OTP, or security token approval to unauthorized parties, please contact 1800-MAYBANK (1800-629 2265) or (65) 6533 5229 (Overseas) immediately.
China Officials Impersonation Scam
13 April 2020
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) would like to alert the public to a new variant of the China Officials impersonation scam whereby callers impersonated as staff from the Ministry of Health (MOH) before referring victims to scammers claiming to be China Officials.
MOH will not ask for your banking credentials or to transfer monies to bank accounts.
You are advised to take the following precautions when you receive unsolicited calls from unknown parties:
- Don’t Panic – Ignore the calls and caller’s instructions. No government agency will request for transfer of money, personal details or bank account login credentials over the phone. Call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before you act as you may be overwhelmed by emotion and err in your judgment.
- Don’t Believe – Scammers may use caller ID spoofing technology to mask the actual phone number and display a different number. Calls that appear to be from a local number may not actually be made from Singapore. From 15 April 2020, all incoming international calls will be prefixed with a plus (+) sign. Stay vigilant when receiving any unexpected international calls, and reject those which spoof local numbers.
- Don’t Give – Do not provide your name, identification number, passport details, contact details, bank account or credit card details, and One-Time-Password (OTP). Such information are useful to criminals.
Scammers Impersonating Staff From Local Telecommunication Service Providers Or Officers From Government Agencies Offering Technical Support
10 April 2020
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) would like to alert the public about scammers impersonating staff from local telecommunication service providers, or officers from government agencies who are offering technical support.
You are advised to adopt the following preventive measures:
- Beware of unsolicited calls from persons claiming that they are staff of telecommunication service providers or from a government agency, even if they claim there are issues with your telecommunication devices or allege that you are implicated in a criminal offence. Scammers may use Caller ID spoofing technology to mask their actual phone numbers and display different numbers. Calls that appear to be from a local number may not actually be made from Singapore.
- Do not panic and do not follow instructions to install applications, type commands into your computer or log onto your online banking accounts. No telecommunication service provider or government agency will request for your personal details or access to your online bank account over the phone or through automated voice machines. When in doubt, always call the official hotline of your telecommunication service provider to verify. It may also be wise to call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before you act on such instructions, in order to get a second opinion which can help counter possible misjudgements on your part.
- Never provide your name, identification number, passport details, contact details, bank account numbers, credit card details, or One-Time-Passwords (OTPs) over the phone to unfamiliar or unverified persons. Such information can be very useful to criminals.
COVID-19 Phishing Calls
6 April 2020
The Singapore Police Force (“SPF”) has alerted the public regarding scams using the COVID-19 outbreak as a bait. These scammers purport to be from Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) and claim to conduct contract tracing to detect potential infected individuals. If an individual falls victim to these claims, the scammer may ask for the following information or request the victim to conduct the following actions:
- Internet banking credentials
- SMS OTP or security token approval
- Update funds transfer limit
- Perform fund transfers to a new account
How to protect yourself
- MOH will never ask for your financial details during contact tracing calls. Verify these calls with the official MOH hotline if you receive such calls. Do not proceed further if you suspect a caller is asking you to conduct suspicious, unfamiliar actions or transactions.
- Do not give out your Internet Banking credentials, SMS OTP or security token approval to other individuals. If you suspect you have provided your internet banking credentials, SMS OTPs, or security token approval to unauthorised parties, please contact 1800-MAYBANK (1800-629 2265) or (65) 6533 5229 (Overseas) immediately.