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:
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.