New Bank-Related Phishing Scam Impersonates as Singapore Government Officials
SINGAPORE — on Tuesday, 5th of January, Singapore police warned the public of a new phishing scam that impersonates as Singapore government officials. The new scam tactics is yet another variant of
bank-related phishing scams.
In this scam, the scammers are representing themselves as government officials. Even though these scams have been circulating since December 2020. However, they have come into the light of events for the public just now, as stated by the police.
All the victims of this phishing scam report receiving either a phone call or a text message supposedly from government agencies like the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore Police Force or some other. The scam allegedly claims that there is an issue with the victim’s bank accounts.
So, they need to verify some of their bank account details like account number, online login credentials and their NRIC numbers.
The police said, “The victims would realize that they had been scammed when they discovered unauthorized transactions made from their accounts.”
Phishing Scams Are Raising High
Phishing scams are constantly rising. While there were just 34 cases of these reported between January to June 2019.
However, they increased 25 times with around 900 cases in the same duration in 2020. The loss incurred in 2019 was well over $ 93,000 and it made a huge leap to $ 3.6 million in 2020!
This shows the speed at which bank frauds are taking place and how important it is to make everyone aware of this grave situation.
What Should You Do Avoid Such Scams
Some alerts and warnings are issued by the police to increase the public’s awareness regarding such phishing scams.
Do not panic:
The police officials says that “No government agency will request personal details or bank account log-in details over the phone.”
So, if you get a call from an unknown number claiming to be a government official asking for your bank details. Then, do not give them anything and cut the call immediately.
They added, “Call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before you act as you may be overwhelmed by emotion and err in your judgement.”
Do not believe:
Scammers uses spoofing technology to hide their caller ID. And displays a number different than theirs to the victim.
Even if the number seems from Singapore, there is a high chance that it is masked and originally belongs to another country altogether, as reported by the police.
It is pretty clear when you get an international call. Try not to pick it up as it could be a trick. You also need to stay vigilant about the numbers that are from Singapore. If you suspect anything fishy, cut the call, that’s it.
Do not give out your personal information:
No one, not even your bank or government agencies will ask for your details, especially your one-time passwords.
So, if you get a call that asks for any personal details, then it is a fraud meant to scam you. They will lure you into a trap by saying that they need this information since you are in trouble. Well, cut the call as quickly as possible and also block that number.
Some more modifications done by the service providers is that you will start getting a plus sign prefixed to the phone number on all incoming international phone calls. This will help you a bit to identify a scamster.
What can You Do To Report A Scam?
For urgent submission of phishing scams, dial 999 and your issue will be considered.
Every member of the public may visit www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. Or call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 to provide information on such scams.
For more information and help, you can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688.
A little awareness can help you as well as people around you to avoid getting trapped by these unethical beings.