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    265,297 posts since Dec '99
    • Beware of scammers posing as government officials to obtain SingPass info: Police


      If someone knocks on your door and introduces themselves as a SkillsFuture government official, asking you for your Singapore Personal Access (SingPass) credentials, be on your guard.

      There has been a rise in police reports on such cases, the police said in a statement jointly issued with SkillsFuture Singapore on Friday (Aug 17).

      Since July this year, at least 10 reports were made about individuals posing as government officials, going door to door to promote the use of SkillsFuture Credit.

      The impersonators asked for victims' personal particulars, SingPass credentials and mobile phone numbers, saying they would help check if the victims were eligible for SkillsFuture Credit.

      They also asked victims, many of whom are elderly retirees, to surrender their mobile phones and OneKey tokens if they had them, and many did so.

      Once they had the information, the impersonators used the particulars and mobile phone or token to apply for courses using their SkillsFuture Credit.

      The SkillsFuture Credit scheme, which was introduced last January for more than two million people, gives Singaporeans aged 25 and older an initial $500 credit to pay for skills courses.

      SkillsFuture Singapore said it "takes a stern view of any abuse of the SkillsFuture Credit and is working closely with the Singapore Police Force to take the necessary action against the parties involved".

      The police advised the public to take the following precautions:

      - Always ask for and check the identification pass of the person claiming to be a government official;

      - Call the government agency's official telephone number to confirm the identity of the person; and

      - Do not provide your personal particulars, SingPass credentials, mobile phone or tokens to strangers. The information can be used to access various digital services provided by government agencies.



    • 'John Richard' calling from ICA is a scammer, says the authority


      If you have received a call from someone named John Richard who claims to be from the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), be on your guard.

      The caller is phishing for personal information like bank details, driving licence numbers and other personal particulars, ICA said in a statement on Friday (Oct 13).

      The man, who reportedly calls himself "John Richard", uses the number 6542-5314 to target victims, saying he is calling from the ICA Airport Logistics Park general office.

      ICA clarified that the calls were not made by its officers, and added that it does not call the public to ask for personal information over the phone.

      The police have been alerted of the scam.

      ICA advised the public to ignore the calls and the caller's instructions. It also advised the public not to provide any personal particulars to the caller or transfer any money to him.

      It added that it takes a serious view of such scam calls as it undermines public trust in ICA.

      Those with information on the scam calls may submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness or call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000.

      Just last week, ICA warned the public about scam callers who impersonate ICA officers in a bid to obtain passport numbers.

      Those calls were made from this number: +65 6214-8427.

      Also last week, ICA raised the alert about a fake website that was dressed up to look like the official ICA website.

      Called singaporeonline-epass.com, the site aims to trick visitors into revealing their visa reference and passport numbers.



    • Man loses $5,600 to scammers running fake Singapore Police Force website


       claimed to be a police officer. The scammer told the man that he was involved in a case of money laundering, and asked him for his personal details.

      The victim then received a call from another scammer who directed him to a website that resembles SPF's website.

      He was told to provide his personal information such as his name, personal identification number, bank account details and passwords.

      The victim later realised that two transactions had been made from his bank account without his consent.

      The scammers reportedly told him to delete the bank notifications, which indicated the sum of money that had been transferred.

      The police said in their statement on Friday that the website is a phishing site in disguise, designed to extract personal information and banking details of victims in hopes of getting money from them.

      The official SPF website is at www.police.gov.sg, and the police advised the public to take the following precautions when they receive unsolicited calls, especially from people they do not know:

      1. Ignore the calls. Scammers may use Caller ID spoofing technology to mask the actual phone number and display a different number. Calls that appear to be from a local number may not actually be made from Singapore. If you receive a suspicious call from a local number, hang up, wait five minutes, then call the number back to check the validity of the request.

      2. Ignore instructions to remit or transfer money. No government agency will inform you to make a payment through a telephone call, especially to a third party's bank account.

      3. Refrain from giving out personal information and bank details, whether on the website or to callers over the phone. Personal information and bank details, such as internet bank account usernames and passwords, OTP codes from tokens, are useful to criminals.

      Additionally, the police cautioned the public to be wary of befriending strangers online who ask to use their bank accounts as they may be used as money mules.

      To avoid this, adopt the following crime prevention measures:

      a. Do not give your personal particulars or bank account details to strangers.

      b. Decline any request by acquaintance for money transfers - you might unwittingly be committing a crime by laundering money for another party.

      c. Report to the police and the bank immediately if you suspect that you have received unknown monies in your account.

      d. If you are approached by anyone who claims to be a police officer, ask for the warrant card. If you are in doubt, please dial 999 for urgent police assistance.

      e. If you have information related to such crimes or if you are in doubt, call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit the information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.



    • Received an SMS claiming to be from UOB? It could be a phishing website


      The Singapore Police Force has issued an official statement on its Facebook page, warning netizens about phishing websites. 

      This comes after some netizens were reportedly tricked into giving their personal information, including credit card details after responding to SMSes reportedly sent by United Overseas Bank (UOB). 

      However, the victims later realised that there were unauthorised transactions in various foreign currencies made to their credit cards. 

      The victims each described having received an SMS allegedly sent by UOB, in which they were asked to visit a link provided.

      They would then be directed to a website that resembles a genuine bank website and asked to enter personal information, as well as credit card details. 

      Among the information asked were the credit card number, date of expiry and Card Verification Value of the respective cards. 

      In each of these cases, the scammers then downloaded the ‘UOB Mighty App’ without the knowledge of the victims, and entered the data provided by the victims.

      This led to the victims receiving One-Time Password (OTP) prompts sent by the bank to their mobile phones, which they were asked to key into the website. 

      The victims subsequently received SMS notifications that foreign transactions were made on their credit cards.

      One victim, Stephen Tay posted on Facebook about his experience, saying:

      “Got this SMS an hour ago and it only states a link to uob-mob_com (I switched the . to a _ to prevent Facebook from leading you to the actual link)

      “Beware! This is a new form of spoofing to get your login information.

      “The domain name is not owned by UOB and was just registered as the SMS was sent out.

      “If you see such messages, delete them!”


      In response to the incidents, the police urged members of the public to be vigilant in their post.

      Read the post:

      “A) Be wary when you are asked to disclose your personal information and bank account details over the internet.

      “B) Beware of phishing websites that may look genuine. Look for signs that you are using a legitimate or secure website. These websites are generally encrypted to protect your details. Secure websites use 'https:' instead of 'http:' at the start of the internet address, or display a closed padlock or unbroken key icon at the bottom right corner of your browser window.

      “C) Report any fraudulent charges detected in your credit card bills to your bank immediately.”

      It also encouraged victims to call the helpline or go to www.scamalert.sg to get advice on scams and how to avoid them. 

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