33 cases of fraud involving Line app, iTunes Gift Cards last month: Police

33 cases of fraud involving Line app, iTunes Gift Cards last month: Police
The icon of free communication app 'Line' is pictured on an iPhone in this photo illustration in Tokyo Aug 14, 2012. Photo: Reuters
Published: 12:59 PM, October 8, 2014
Updated: 1:02 PM, October 8, 2014

SINGAPORE — 33 cases of fraud involving iTunes gift cards perpetrated through mobile messaging platform LINE were reported last month, Police said today (Oct 8).

According to the Police, a similar modus operandi was observed in each of the cases: The fraudster first gains access to a victim’s LINE account, before posing as the victim to send messages to phone numbers in the victim’s contact list. These messages would ask the victim’s contacts to purchase iTunes Gift Cards, and then to send the redemption codes over the app in the form of a photo. By the time the ruse is discovered, the scammer would have redeemed the value of the gift cards. In each case, victims of the scam also found that they were subsequently unable to access their accounts using their regular password.

In light of the spate of reports, the Police advised that app users be wary of requests to make purchases and to verify them with their friends, especially if the request seems unusual.

Questions whose answers would be known only to both parties such as the details of a mutual friend or family member can also be posed to verify the identity of the sender.

In addition, the Police recommend the use of strong, personalised passwords of eight characters or more, preferably containing numerals and upper case letters. Changing passwords regularly and never disclosing profile identification details publicly, as well making use of regularly updated anti-virus software on mobile devices is also recommended, the Police said.
If you have information related to this scam, please call the Police hotline at 1800-2550000 or 999 to receive urgent Police assistance.