$62,000 lost in fake Singtel e-mail phishing scams, 22 police reports lodged

People who clicked on the URL link were directed to a fake Singtel webpage which asked for their bank information and One-Time Passwords.
People who clicked on the URL link were directed to a fake Singtel webpage which asked for their bank information and One-Time Passwords.PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - Scammers using fake e-mails purportedly from Singtel netted at least $62,000 earlier this week.

Victims of the phishing fraudsters received e-mails claiming to be from the telco saying they had won a cash prize or were eligible to claim cashback or a gift.

People who clicked on the URL link were directed to a fake Singtel webpage which asked for their bank information and one-time passwords (OTPs) in order to claim the prize, cashback or gift.

The victims - at least 22 police reports had been lodged on Monday (Feb 15) and Tuesday - realised that they had been scammed only after they spotted unauthorised transactions in their bank accounts.

These are three of the URLs impersonating Singtel's website:

1. sgsingtel.net/sin/cc1.php

2. sgsingtel.net/cgi-sys/suspendedpage.cgi

3. sgsingtel.net/sing

The police noted that scams like this involving companies other than banks have been on the rise.

"The number of non-banking related phishing scams increased by 1,214 per cent to 644 in 2020, from 49 in 2019. The total amount cheated increased to at least $981,000 in 2020, from at least $72,000 in 2019," they said.

There are tried and true safeguard against such scams:

- Be wary of URL links provided in unsolicited adverts and text messages, especially those related to deals that seem too good to be true;

- Always verify the authenticity of the information with the official website or sources;

- Never disclose your personal or Internet banking details and OTP to anyone; and

- Report any fraudulent transaction involving your e-payment accounts to the e-payment service provider immediately.

Anyone with information related to these scams can call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or go to the Singapore Police Force's website.

There is more information on scams at the Scam Alert website or call the Anti-Scam hotline at 1800-722-6688.