At least $120,000 lost to scam involving SMS over credit, debit card 'issues': Police

The message, which is sent via SMS from a fake number, has resulted in at least 18 victims falling prey to the scam over the month of January. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - The Singapore police have issued an alert to the public to warn them of a scam message that has been circulating online.

The message, which is sent via SMS from a fake number, has resulted in at least 18 victims falling prey to the scam over the month of January, and led to losses amounting to at least $120,000.

Victims would receive an SMS stating that there were issues with their credit or debit cards, and were instructed to dial a number included in the message.

Upon dialling the number, the victims would be instructed to furnish their card details and one-time password (OTP) in order to "solve" the supposed issues with their cards.

The victims would realise they had fallen prey to a scam only when they discovered fraudulent transactions made on their credit or debit cards.

The police advised the public to be aware of such fake SMSes as they are not official ones sent by any bank or credit/debit card issuers.

They also issued the following advice for the public to take note of:

  • Always verify the authenticity of the information with the numbers listed on the official websites of banks 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/debit card details or OTP to anyone;
  • Report any fraudulent transactions to your bank immediately.

The public are encouraged to download the ScamShield mobile app jointly developed by the National Crime Prevention Council and the Open Government Products team from the Government Technology Agency.

The app uses artificial intelligence to identify and filter out scam messages, and also blocks calls from phone numbers that were previously used in other scam cases or reported by ScamShield users.

The public can can visit www.scamalert.sg for more information on scams, or call the Anti-Scam Hotline on 1800-722-6688.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.