More than $71,000 lost to new scam variants in first half of June

Several new scam variants have been detected since the start of June, with the authorities issuing numerous warning alerts. ST PHOTO: THADDEUS ANG

SINGAPORE - The start of June signals the start of the corporate tax filing season and the school holidays.

But it appears to be hunting season for scammers too.

Several new scam variants have been detected since the start of the month, with the authorities issuing numerous alerts warning the public to be wary.

In the first half of June, 67 victims have already lost more than $71,000 to the new variants.

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) issued three advisories within a week, with each alerting about a different variant.

The variants involve spoofed e-mails with suspicious attachments, fraudulent e-mails and calls from scammers impersonating Iras officers, and WhatsApp calls from fake accounts which have the Iras logo in their profile pictures.

As travel picks up during the school holidays, scammers have also incorporated the names of travel agencies such as Chan Brothers Travel, WTS Travel and CTC Travel, into their ploys.

The Straits Times reported on June 9 about scammers impersonating staff from these agencies offering part-time roles.

The police have also warned this month of several new phishing scam variants.

A utilities phishing scam saw crooks impersonating officers from PUB and SP Group, convincing victims to click on a link and provide personal and banking details to purportedly get a bill refund.

Another variant saw scammers pretending to be cleaning service providers on social media, convincing victims to download malware which stole their personal and banking information from their phones.

DBS Bank is currently fighting a scam campaign targeting its customers.

So far, more than 60 victims have already lost more than $60,000 in total to the scams which involve unsolicited SMSes from senders with names like "SG-DBS" and "DBS-Notice".

Eight people have since been arrested for their alleged involvement.

Members of the public can visit for more information or call the Anti-Scam Hotline on 1800-722-6688.

Anyone with information on scams can call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000.

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