16- and 17-year-old teen boys among 4 arrested in relation to fake DBS SMS phishing scams

Two men, aged 23 and 52, and two teen boys, aged 16 and 17, were arrested for their suspected involvement in the recent spate of banking-related SMS phishing scam cases in raids between Jan 22 and 24, said the police.

During the three-day operation, officers from the Commercial Affairs Department mounted simultaneous island-wide operations that led to the arrests.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the four had allegedly facilitated the scam cases by relinquishing their bank accounts, Internet banking credentials and/or disclosing Singpass credentials for monetary gains.

Since the start of the year, the police have received several reports of scammers impersonating DBS or the bank staff through spoofed SMSes to phish for the victims' banking credentials.

These messages would warn the victims of possible unauthorised attempts to access their bank accounts, urging them to click on the embedded URL links to verify their identities and stop the transactions.

After clicking on the links, the victims were directed to spoofed DBS bank websites and misled into providing their Internet banking credentials and one-time passwords, which the scammers would use to make unauthorised withdrawals.

The 23-year-old man will be charged in court with the offences of abetting unknown persons to secure unauthorised access to the bank’s computer system and disclosing Singpass credentials.

For first-time offenders, the offence carries a fine not exceeding $5,000, an imprisonment term not exceeding two years, or both, whereas the offence of disclosing Singpass credentials carries an imprisonment term not exceeding three years, a fine not exceeding $10,000, or both.

This follows the arrest of seven people for similar offences in raids conducted earlier this month.