Khoo Teck Puat Hospital files police report over fake website

The hospital said it has contacted the domain host to initiate a takedown of the fraudulent website. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Khoo Teck Puat Hospital has filed a police report after noticing a fraudulent website mimicking its own.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday (Feb 23), the hospital in Yishun said it has contacted the domain host to initiate a takedown of the fraudulent website.

"All Singapore Internet service providers have blocked access to the website and our checks confirm that the website is no longer accessible," the post said.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, the hospital’s IT director Liew Phey Bong said the fake website was discovered on Monday by the Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS), which is the hospital’s healthcare IT partner. A cyber incident response team was immediately set up.

The hospital has been unable to determine the purpose of the fake website and how long it has been active, said Mr Liew. He added that the fraudulent site contained fields for names, email addresses, and phone numbers.

So far there has been no indication that any member of the public or patients of the hospital had submitted personal information to the fake website, he noted.

A police report was made on Monday night, and major telcos had blocked access to the website by Tuesday morning. The hospital is currently working with IHiS and the authorities to take down the fake website, which is hosted overseas, said Mr Liew.

The hospital's official website is ktph.com.sg.

Members of the public are advised to be cautious of websites that use other Web addresses to masquerade as the official Khoo Teck Puat Hospital website, the Facebook post said.

They should avoid clicking on links from external sources and always practise discretion when sharing sensitive personal details online, it added.

On Feb 15, Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo said in Parliament that government agencies are looking into using artificial intelligence to quickly detect and block scam websites through telco networks, to protect the public from being scammed following questions filed in the wake of a recent deluge of SMS phishing scams targeting OCBC Bank customers.

No direct human interactions are needed when phishing through a scam website, in contrast to phishing for victims' credentials and personal data by phone or SMS.

In 2020, about 500 suspected scam websites were blocked. Last year, 12,000 such sites were detected with the use of analytics and blocked, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority and police work with Internet service providers to block scam websites, which helps protect most Singaporeans - more than nine in 10 - who go online daily.

Last year, victims in Singapore lost at least $633.3 million to scams, almost 2.5 times the $268.4 million stolen by scammers the previous year.

Those who wish to provide any information related to scams should call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit it online at this link.

For scam-related advice, they may also call the anti-scam helpline on 1800-722-6688 or go to Scam Alert's website.

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