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Three 16-year-olds as well as six male and one female suspects, aged between 17 and 28, were arrested following anti-scam enforcement operations conducted between Aug 28 and Sept 8, said the police.
Another two men and two women, aged between 20 and 49, are assisting in the investigations of recent banking-related malware scam cases.
Officers from Commercial Affairs Department and Police Intelligence Department mounted the simultaneous island-wide operations over the course of two weeks.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the 10 arrested had allegedly facilitated the scam cases by relinquishing their bank accounts, Internet banking credentials and/or disclosing Singpass credentials for monetary gains.
Police investigations are ongoing.
Since January, the police have received increasing number of reports of malware being used to compromise Android mobile devices, resulting in unauthorised transactions made from the victims’ bank accounts, even when they have not divulged their Internet banking credentials, One-Time-Passwords (OTPs) or Singpass credentials to anyone.
In these cases, the scam victims responded to advertisements on social media platforms like Facebook.
They were then instructed by the scammers to download Android Package Kit (APK) from non-official app stores to facilitate the purchase, which led to malware being installed on their mobile devices.
Subsequently, the scammers convinced the victims via phone calls or text messages to turn on accessibility services on their Android phones. This weakened the phones’ security, allowing scammers to take full control of the victims’ phones.
As a result, the scammers could log every keystroke, steal banking credentials stored on the phones, remotely access victims’ banking apps, add money mules as payees, raise payment limits and transfer money to money mules. The scammers can further delete SMS and email notifications related to these bank transfers to cover their tracks.
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Helpline at 1800-722-6688.
Anyone with information on such scams may call the Police Hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.