Two 15-year-olds among 13 arrested in island-wide raids for roles in malware scams

Seven men and four women, aged 17 to 25, and two 15-year-old teenagers were arrested in raids between Aug 14 and 25 for their suspected involvement in the recent spate of banking-related malware scam cases, said the police.

The island-wide anti-scam enforcement operation conducted by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and Police Intelligence Department (PID).

Another two women, aged 29 and 39, and a 15-year-old teenager are assisting in investigations.

Since January, the police have received increasing reports informing that malware was used to compromise Android mobile devices, resulting in unauthorised transactions made from the victims’ bank accounts even though they did not divulge their Internet banking credentials, One-Time-Passwords (OTPs) or Singpass credentials to anyone.

The victims responded to advertisements on social media platforms like Facebook and were then instructed by the scammers to download Android Package Kit from non-official app stores to facilitate the purchases, leading to malware being installed on the victims’ mobile devices.

The scammers then convinced the victims via phone calls or text messages to turn on accessibility services on their Android phones. Doing so weakened the phones’ security and allowed the scammers to take full control of the phones.

This meant that the scammers could log every keystroke and steal banking credentials stored in the phones and allowed them to remotely log in to the victims’ banking apps, add money mules as payees, raise payment limits and transfer monies out to money mules.

The scammers could also delete SMS and email notifications of the bank transfers to cover their tracks.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the 13 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.

For more information on scams, members of the public can visit 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