CPF warns of fake website even as online services are restored

A screengrab of the official CPF website showing a message warning of the fake site.
A screengrab of the official CPF website showing a message warning of the fake site.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM CPF WEBSITE

Just as more than 90 per cent of the Central Provident Fund's (CPF) online services were restored yesterday evening, the CPF Board started working to take down a fake CPF website.

In an e-mail to members yesterday, it warned of the imposter website and urged users to visit only the official site at www.cpf.gov.sg.

The same warning message was posted on its website and Facebook page.

However, it did not disclose the URL of the fake website.

A CPF spokesman confirmed that the fake website and the service outage, which has lasted more than two weeks, were unrelated.

A major service outage happened during a website upgrade, and the system was taken offline after an "integration component" used by the website malfunctioned due to high traffic and caused the wrong information to be displayed.

This resulted in long queues at service centres, with hours-long waiting times, and jammed call centre lines.

The CPF in a statement yesterday, said that in addition to checking and printing account balances, other e-services such as changing monthly housing payments, making voluntary contributions and updating personal particulars were now accessible.

The remaining e-services and the CPF Tools app will be made available progressively, it added, but did not give a date.

When The Straits Times visited the site at 9.30pm yesterday, most of the services were accessible.

Following successful testing, CPF began restoration efforts yesterday morning by opening access to the self-help service terminals at its service centres, while online services were available to the public last night, it said.

In a statement last night, the CPF Board's chief executive officer Ng Chee Peng apologised for inconveniencing members, and thanked them for their patience.

"We will put in the necessary safeguards to ensure service continuity and are committed to improving the service experience for Singaporeans," he said.

 

The CPF Board advised members to log in to the website after 10pm for non-urgent enquiries as high traffic to the site is expected for the next few days, and some users may experience slow or intermittent access.

Queue ticket issuance timings at the five service centres will remain extended to 6pm, and call centre operating hours will continue to be extended to 7pm until this Friday.

Members will not be levied any late charges due to the unavailability of the CPF e-services, it added.

Eligible members who have made voluntary contributions and top-ups through alternative channels will qualify for the relevant tax relief as long as the applications are received by Dec 31.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 16, 2015, with the headline 'CPF warns of fake website even as online services are restored'. Print Edition | Subscribe