Police warn of bogus pop-up advertisements that offer $1 iPhones

A man holds his new iPhone 7 at an Apple store in Beijing, China on Sept 16, 2016.
A man holds his new iPhone 7 at an Apple store in Beijing, China on Sept 16, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - There have been at least 12 reports since October of victims being tricked by an online pop-up advertisement for a $1 iPhone 7, according to a police advisory on Wednesday (Nov 16).

The victims provided their personal and bank account details at phishing websites after they responded to the advertisement. They later realised that unauthorised transactions in various foreign currencies were made to their credit cards.

The advertisement stated "If you live in Singapore, you can get the iPhone 7 for just SGD 1.00/-". The victims clicked on the pop-up advertisement and were led to another website that showed a newspaper report on the offer and "testimonials" of people who said they received the phone.

Victims who clicked to register for the offer were led to a phishing website and asked to enter their personal information such as name, address, handphone number, and their bank account details, such as credit card number, Card Verification Value (CVV) and One-Time Password (OTP). The victims later received SMS notifications of foreign transactions made on their credit cards.

Members of the public are advised to adopt the following preventive measures:

- Beware of online offers that are too good to be true.

- Exercise care when you are asked to disclose your personal information and bank account details over the Internet.

- Look for signs that you are using a legitimate or secure website. Legitimate websites are generally encrypted to protect your details and secure websites use "https:" rather than "http:" at the start of the Internet address, or display a closed padlock or unbroken key icon at the bottom right corner of your browser window.

- Install anti-virus, anti-spyware/malware and firewall on your smartphone/computer and keep them updated.

- Report any fraudulent charges detected in your credit card bills to your bank immediately.