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Android users, beware.
The police have warned of a sham SMS asking people to download a fake anti-scam application on your devices.
In this scam variant, members of the public would receive a scam SMS from the 'Anti-Scam Centre' (ASC), requesting them to download and install an 'Anti-Scam' app to ensure the security of their devices.
The app purportedly helps to identify and prevent scams by providing comprehensive protection and security.
The fake SMS impersonating as 'ASC' would contain an URL link. After clicking on the URL link, members of the public would be directed to a website pretending to be 'ASC'.
On the website is an icon to download the 'Anti-Scam' app. Upon downloading and installation of the app, members of the public would have to allow accessibility services to enable the 'AntiScam' service.
"Members of the public are advised NOT to download any suspicious APK files on their devices as they may contain malware which will allow scammers to access and take control of the device remotely as well as to steal passwords stored in the device," said the police in an advisory on Sunday (July 16).
You should also be wary of installing apps that are outside of the official Google Play Store or from dubious sites.
Instead, adopt these precautionary measures:
ADD – anti-virus/anti-malware applications to your device. Update your devices' operating systems and applications regularly to be protected by the latest security patches. Disable 'Install Unknown App' or 'Unknown Sources' in your phone settings. Do not grant permission to persistent popups that request for access to your device’s hardware or data.
CHECK – the developer information on the application listing as well as the number of downloads and user reviews to ensure it is a reputable and legitimate application. Only download and install applications from official app stores (i.e., Google Play Store for Android).
TELL – Authorities, family, and friends about scams. Report any fraudulent transactions to your bank immediately.
If you have any information relating to such crimes or if you are in doubt, call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.
All information will be kept strictly confidential. If you require urgent police assistance, dial '999'.
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Helpline at 1800-722-6688.
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