More cases of fraudulent charges to phone bills

There have been 130 cases of victims being cheated of money via fraudulent purchases charged to their mobile phone bills from the start of this year to November, said the police.

This is a rise of 120 per cent compared with the same period last year.

The total loss victims have incurred from this year's cases is at least $16,000.

In a statement yesterday, the police said victims reported having provided a three-digit PIN to the scammers.

In most of these cases, the scammers initiated contact with the victims by sending friend requests via Facebook. They would then ask for the victims' mobile phone numbers and mobile service providers.

Next, the scammers would make online purchases of gaming credits/online gift cards using the victims' mobile phone numbers.

The purchases were charged to the victims' mobile phone bills after the victims provided their one-time passwords (OTPs) or verification codes to the scammers.

The police advised the public to take the following precautions:

• Do not share your personal information, including OTPs or verification codes, with anyone.

• Be wary of friend requests from strangers.

• If you receive a friend request via a social networking site, verify with your friend via another means of communication before accepting the request.

• Report any fraudulent charges on your mobile phone bill to your mobile service provider immediately.

• If in doubt, call the Anti-Scam Helpline on 1800-722-6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 14, 2017, with the headline 'More cases of fraudulent charges to phone bills'. Print Edition | Subscribe