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There is a re-emergence of scams targeting bank customers, where scammers spoof Short Message Services (SMS) and trick victims into thinking that the messages sent by the scammers are from the bank.
In a news release on Monday (Nov 9), the police said that the number of such cases went up by more than twenty-fold to 898 in the first half of 2020, from 34 in the same period in 2019.
Correspondingly, the total amount cheated increased to $3.6 million in the first half of 2020, from $93,000 in the same period in 2019.
"Victims would receive a message allegedly from the bank, informing them that their bank accounts had been 'blocked' by local law enforcement agencies due to security issues. The message would also contain a link which leads to a phishing website," said the police.
"As the scammers have spoofed the bank’s SMS accounts, the scammers’ message might appear in the same SMS conversation thread as a bona fide bank’s messages."
When victims click on the link, they would be led to a phishing website that resembles the official website of a bank, requesting for their personal particulars, internet banking details and One-Time Passwords (OTPs).
After providing the details, the victims would subsequently discover that unauthorised transactions have been made from their bank accounts.
Members of the public are advised to adopt the following measures to prevent their bank accounts from being compromised:
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 anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg.
Join the ‘Spot the Signs, Stop the Crime’ 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 victims," added the police.