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New Variant Of Technical Support Scams – Scammers Transfer Funds Out Of Victims’ Bank Accounts Remotely By Impersonating Staff Of Telecommunication Service Provider Or Police

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by September 18, 2019 General

The Police would like to alert the public to a new variant of technical support scams whereby scammers would impersonate staff of telecommunication service provider Singtel, and the Singapore Police Force.

The scammers impersonating staff of Singtel would deceive victims that there were issues with their modem or internet connection. The scammers would then direct the victims to download and install software applications such as ‘Teamviewer’ or ‘AnyDesk’ onto their computers on the pretext that doing so would facilitate the scammers to resolve the issues.

In other cases, the scammers would claim to represent the ‘Cyber Crime Department of Singapore’ or the ‘Cyber Police of Singapore’, and deceive victims that they had committed a criminal offence. The scammers would then direct the victims to download and install the abovementioned software applications on the pretext that doing so would assist in the investigations.

Once the software applications were installed on the victims’ computers, the scammers would use them to access the victims’ computers remotely and request the victims to log into their online bank accounts. When the victims were logged into their bank accounts, the scammers would then transfer funds out of their bank accounts without their consent. Since August 2019, at least 21 cases have been reported, with more than $1.5 million lost.

If members of the public fall for the scam, they should immediately:

e. Turn off their computer to halt further activities on their computer.

f. Report the incident to their bank to halt further activities on their bank accounts.

g. Change their iBanking credentials and remove any unauthorised payee added to their bank accounts.

h. Report the matter to the Police.

Members of the public are advised to adopt the following preventive measures:

d. 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 the actual phone number and display a different number.

e. Do not panic and do not follow instructions to install applications or 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 telecommunication service provider to verify. Call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before you act as you may be overwhelmed by emotion and err in your judgment.

f. Ignore the calls and caller’s instructions. No telecommunication service provider or government agency will request for personal details or access to your online bank account and do transfer of money over the phone or through automated voice machines. Call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before you act as you may be overwhelmed by emotion and err in your judgment.

If you wish to provide any information related to such scams, please call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. If you require urgent Police assistance, please dial ‘999’.

To seek scam-related advice, you may call the National Crime Prevention Council’s anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg. Join the ‘let’s fight scams’ campaign at www.scamalert.sg/fight by signing up as an advocate to receive up-to-date messages and share them with your family and friends. Together, we can help stop scams and prevent our loved ones from becoming the next scam victim.

Source: Singapore Police Force

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