Police warn of new phishing scam involving cleaning services ads on social media

In the scam, people would receive cleaning services advertisements via social messaging platforms. PHOTOS: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - A new type of phishing scam has emerged with fraudsters installing malware on victims' phones to steal their banking credentials, the police have warned.

In the scam, people would receive cleaning services advertisements via social messaging platforms, the police added in an advisory on Tuesday (June 14).

Victims would be told to make a payment by downloading an app via a link sent to them.

This is only sent after victims have decided to engage the services.

But the app is believed to contain malware, a software that is specifically designed to damage and gain unauthorised access to a system.

After installing it on their phones, victims would be asked to make payments through legitimate banking sites using their online banking information.

The app will then be able to access their banking information and SMSes sent to their phones.

The police said victims only realised they were scammed when they discovered unauthorised transactions made from their bank accounts.

At least two victims have fallen prey to the scam, with total losses amounting to at least $2,000 this month.

The police said members of the public should download files directly from official and verified sources to ensure they are free from malware or viruses.

They added that all mobile phones, computers and other devices should also be installed with updated anti-virus software and malware removal tools.

The devices' operating systems and apps should be regularly updated as well.

The police said those with information about such scams are encouraged to call their hotline on 1800-255-0000. They can also submit information via the police website.

Those who require urgent police assistance can call 999.

For more information on scams, visit the Scam Alert website or call the anti-scam hotline on 1800-722-6688.

The public can join the "Spot the Signs. Stop the Crimes." campaign on the same website by signing up as an advocate to receive up-to-date messages and share these with their family and friends.

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