Victims lose $237,000 amid resurgence in SingPost and Singtel phishing scams: Police

Scammers would impersonate the firms and send out e-mails embedded with fraudulent URL links. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - At least 85 people here have lost about $237,000 since January 2022 after falling victim to phishing scams involving purported e-mails from Singapore Post (SingPost) and telco Singtel.

It comes amid a resurgence in scammers impersonating both firms and sending out e-mails with unrelated domains, said the police on Thursday. The e-mails were embedded with fraudulent URL links which were designed to steal victims’ personal information.

In the case of the scam e-mails purportedly from Singtel, victims were told that their accounts faced billing issues due to missing information. They were instructed to click on the embedded link to renew their subscriptions.

In the SingPost scams, victims were notified that they had outstanding payments to make for parcel deliveries. They were directed to use the link to make payments.

However, police said these links redirected the victims to fraudulent websites which then tricked them into providing their personal information, including their account username and password, as well as credit or debit card details and their one-time passwords.

Victims only realised they had been scammed after they discovered unauthorised transactions made using their credit or debit cards.

The advisory comes just before a slew of end-of-the-year sales are rolled out online, including the 11.11 sale, which falls on Nov 11.

Such sales are often promoted on e-commerce platforms. A report in January by data and analytics company GlobalData projected that e-commerce spending in Singapore would grow from $7.8 billion in 2021 to $14.2 billion in 2025.

In the SingPost scams, victims were notified that they had outstanding payments to make for parcel deliveries.  PHOTOS: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

This year, consumers in Singapore are projected to spend $9.2 billion online.

The police advise members of the public to refrain from clicking on links in unsolicited e-mails from e-mail addresses with suspicious domain names. Instead, they should verify the authenticity of the information with the official website or other official sources. They should also never disclose their personal information, credit card and bank details or passwords, including one-time passwords, to anyone else.

A scam e-mail purportedly sent from Singtel, telling a victim that his account faces a billing issue. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

Police said they should report any fraudulent transactions made with their e-payment accounts to the relevant service providers immediately.

For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the anti-scam hotline at 1800-722-6688.

Anyone with information on such scams may call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.

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