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Police warn of new SMS scam, S$120,000 lost so far by at least 18 victims

SINGAPORE — At least 18 victims have fallen prey to a Short Message Service (SMS) scam since the start of this month, with losses amounting to at least S$120,000, the police said on Monday (Jan 31).

Police warn of new SMS scam, S$120,000 lost so far by at least 18 victims

The police is warning the public to be aware of fake SMS they receive on their phones because the messages are not official SMS disseminated by any bank or credit or debit card issuers.

SINGAPORE — At least 18 victims have fallen prey to a Short Message Service (SMS) scam since the start of this month, with losses amounting to at least S$120,000, the police said on Monday (Jan 31).

In its advisory, the police said that victims would receive an SMS stating that there were issues with their credit or debit cards. The scam message would prompt them to dial a number for assistance.

Over the phone, the scammers would ask victims for their card details and One-Time Password (OTP) under the pretext of assisting them.

Victims would only realise they had fallen prey to a scam after discovering fraudulent transactions made on their debit or credit card.

“Members of the public are advised to be aware of such fake SMS as they are not official SMS disseminated by any of the banks or credit or debit card issuers,” the police said.

Scam cases, particularly those involving banks, have been in the spotlight since the start of the year.

On Jan 30, OCBC bank announced that it had made arrangements for goodwill payments totalling S$13.7 million to 790 of its customers who had fallen prey to an SMS phishing scam. 

DBS bank issued an alert on Jan 19 about SMS phishing scams after a screenshot of a message received by a customer about the "suspension" of his account was circulated online.

The police on Monday issued the following scam prevention advisory to members of the public:

  • Always verify the authenticity of the information with the numbers listed on the official bank website or printed on the cards issued by the banks
  • Never transfer funds into bank accounts belonging to someone you do not know
  • Never disclose your personal information, credit or debit card details or OTP to anyone
  • Report any fraudulent transactions to your bank immediately

The authority urged anyone with information relating to such crimes to call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. Those requiring urgent police assistance are advised to dial 999.

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Scam OTP SMS Police bank

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