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1,200 phishing scams since December; some culprits impersonate officials and use stolen data to set up e-wallet: Police

1,200 phishing scams since December; some culprits impersonate officials and use stolen data to set up e-wallet: Police

Some scammers initiate a video call through messaging applications while dressed in a uniform similar to that of police officers in Singapore.

The police on Thursday (Jan 13) issued a warning about scammers who call victims through messaging applications such as WhatsApp, Viber and IMO on the pretense of being from a government agency such as the Singapore Police Force or the Ministry of Manpower.  

In some cases, the offenders display official insignia or pictures of officers from these government agencies as their profile photo to strengthen their ruse. Some even initiate a video call through the messaging application while dressed in a uniform similar to that of police officers here.

After asking victims for their personal information, banking credentials and one-time passwords (OTPs) for “verification purposes or to assist in investigations”, the scammers create an e-wallet using applications such as DBS Paylah!, Singtel Dash or Grab Pay in the name of the victims.

They then top up the fraudulently created e-wallet using the victim’s bank account.  

In some of these cases, victims were told to do cash top-ups to the e-wallets at AXS machines or convenience stores.

The authorities on Thursday stressed that these calls are not legitimate.

“Government agencies will never contact members of the public via messaging applications to obtain your personal information, banking credentials or OTPs,” the police said.

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