Scammers target Android users with fake GST Voucher app containing malware to take over phone

Beware of downloading a fake GST Voucher app, said police.

Android mobile phone users would come across posts on Facebook or receive messages on messaging platforms like WhatsApp, requesting them to download and integrate the latest GST Voucher app with their bank accounts.

After replying to the fake Facebook post or the WhatsApp message, they would be directed to a web page containing an Android Package Kit (APK) file, labelled as “GST Voucher” for the purpose of redeeming GST Vouchers.

The GST Voucher mobile application is a malicious APK file.

You 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.

Downloading applications from third-party or dubious sites can lead to malware being installed on victims’ mobile devices. Scammers would trick victims into installing malware-infected apps that are outside of the official Google Play Store.

If you have already downloaded and installed the application or suspect that your phone is infected with malware, please take the following steps:

  • Turn your phone to “flight mode”.  
  • Run an anti-virus scan on your phone.
  • Check your bank Singpass, Central Provident Fund and/or bank accounts for any unauthorised transactions using another device. 
  • If there are unauthorised transactions, report to the bank, relevant authorities and lodge a police report. 
  • After completing these steps, if you believe that your phone has not been infected with malware, you may resume usage of your phone. As a further precaution, you may consider doing a “factory reset” of your phone and changing important passwords. 

This month, 1.5 million Singaporeans will receive up to a total of $700 in GST Vouchers in the form of cash from the Singapore government to offset the recent GST hike and rising costs of living.

To qualify, you have to be 21 or older; your annual income for 2021 must not exceed $34,000; the annual value of your home as on 31 Dec last year must not exceed $21,000; and you must not own more than one property.

If the annual value of your home is more than $13,000, you will receive $350. Otherwise, you will receive $700.

The cash payout will automatically be paid out via your PayNow-NRIC-linked bank account.