Man, 25, charged over alleged involvement in Singpass phishing scam

The phishing SMS sent by the scammers, as well as suspected scam proceeds and exhibits seized from the two men. PHOTOS: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - A man was charged in court on Tuesday for his alleged involvement in a phishing scam involving Singpass.

Lee Jin An, a 25-year-old Malaysian, and a 33-year-old man, who is still under investigation, were arrested on Sunday after officers from the Commercial Affairs Department mounted an islandwide operation.

According to the charge sheet, Lee had engaged in a conspiracy with a man he knew as Aloysius to cheat Trust Bank using a digital credit card issued to a Chua Li Xian.

Lee will be remanded for four days to assist in investigations. He will return to court on Friday.

The police said on Tuesday that they received several reports between last Thursday and Monday of phishing scams involving Singpass, with losses amounting to more than $21,000.

"In this variant, the victims would receive unsolicited text messages with the sender's ID containing similarities to Singpass (for example, MySingpass), stating that their Singpass accounts had been or would be deactivated, and that they were required to conduct a facial verification to the account," said the police.

To complete the verification, recipients would be required to log into their Singpass through a link provided in the text messages.

When victims click on the link, they would be directed to a spoofed Singpass log-in page to key in their Singpass log-in credentials and Singpass one-time passwords received on their phones.

They would realise they had been scammed only after receiving alerts that their Singpass profiles had been updated or that they had signed up for bank accounts and credit cards without their knowledge or consent.

In some cases, unauthorised transactions were charged to the victims' credit cards.

"Preliminary investigations revealed that the duo had allegedly obtained credit cards using the compromised Singpass identity of a victim, which were used to perform fraudulent purchases," said the police.

Cash amounting to more than $120,000, eight mobile phones, a laptop, several bank cards and 16 SIM cards were seized.

The men are believed to be involved in similar cases involving other victims, the police added.

If found guilty of the offence of abetment by conspiracy to cheat with individuals outside Singapore, an offender can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

The police said they take a serious view of those who may be involved in scams and fraud, and that perpetrators will be dealt with.

The public should take note of these crime prevention measures:

  • Singpass does not send text messages containing web links asking users to log in with their credentials.
  • Users can verify the authenticity of claims by calling the official Singpass hotline on 6335-3533.
  • Ensure that the Singpass website domain you are accessing is singpass.gov.sg and that there is a "lock" icon in the address bar.
  • If you suspect your Singpass account has been compromised, reset your Singpass password immediately.

For more information on scams, the public can visit scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline on 1800-722-6688. Anyone with information on scams can call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit information online.

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