Police warn of phishing scams involving compromised WhatsApp accounts

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) released an advisory on Sunday (Mar 7) to warn the public about WhatsApp messages asking for personal information or sharing links, even if they are from familiar contacts.

The scam involves compromised WhatsApp accounts, where scammers gain access to the victims' WhatsApp accounts after obtaining the six-digit verification code either from the victims directly or through the victims' voicemail accounts using the default PIN provided by telco service providers.

"Scammers would use the compromised WhatsApp accounts to impersonate the victims in order to communicate with the victims’ friends or contacts," the police said.

"Scammers would then trick the contacts into providing their personal information or send them phishing links to fake websites to obtain their banking credentials and One-Time Passwords (OTPs).

"The victims’ contacts would only learn that they have been scammed when they discover unauthorised transactions made from their bank accounts."

The public are advised to remain vigilant to avoid falling prey to scammers and to adopt the following crime prevention measures:

  • Never share your WhatsApp account verification codes, personal information, banking details and OTPs with anyone;

  • Beware of unusual requests received over WhatsApp, even if they were sent by your WhatsApp contacts;

  • Protect your WhatsApp account by enabling the ‘Two-Step Verification’ feature. This can be done by opening WhatsApp and going to ‘Settings’ → ‘Account’ → ‘Two-step verification’ → ‘Enable’; and

  • Change your voicemail account’s default PIN to avoid easy access by scammers. If you have no use of the voicemail account, contact your telco service provider to deactivate the feature.

If you have information related to such scams, please call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.

For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the anti-scam hotline at 1800-722-6688.

They can also sign up as an advocate at www.scamalert.sg/fight to receive updated messages and share them with their close ones.