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Four arrested in connection with SMS banking phishing scam in Singapore

Authorities in Singapore arrested four suspects, including teenagers, for their role in SMS banking phishing scams, cautioning the public against fraud schemes.

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SINGAPORE – In a recent crackdown on SMS banking-related phishing scams, authorities have apprehended four individuals, including two teenagers, suspected of orchestrating a series of fraudulent activities.

The arrests were made in an islandwide operation conducted between 22 and 24 January by officers from the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD).

According to the police, the suspects, comprising two men aged 23 and 52, along with two male teenagers aged 16 and 17, are believed to have played pivotal roles in facilitating phishing scams by relinquishing their bank accounts, Internet banking credentials, or disclosing Singpass credentials for illicit gains.

Preliminary investigations reveal a modus operandi where scammers impersonate DBS Bank or its employees via spoofed SMS messages, targeting unsuspecting victims to divulge sensitive banking information.

Victims, receiving unsolicited SMSes from both local and overseas numbers or shortcodes, are warned of unauthorized attempts to access their accounts and instructed to click on URL links provided in the messages for identity verification and transaction prevention.

Upon clicking the links, victims are redirected to counterfeit DBS Bank websites, where they unwittingly disclose their Internet banking credentials and one-time passwords (OTPs), enabling scammers to execute unauthorized withdrawals.

Among the arrested individuals, the 23-year-old man faces charges of abetting unknown persons to gain unauthorized access to the bank’s computer system, along with the disclosure of Singpass credentials.

First-time offenders can face fines of up to $5,000, imprisonment for up to two years, or both. Notably, the penalties for such offences can escalate for subsequent violations, with fines of up to $10,000, imprisonment for up to three years, or both.

Law enforcement authorities have issued a stern warning to the public, urging them to exercise caution and scepticism regarding lucrative money-making opportunities that entail the use of Singpass accounts or bank credentials. They emphasize the importance of accountability and caution against any involvement in criminal activities.

To combat the rising tide of financial fraud, the police advocate for proactive measures, including the adoption of security features such as two-factor authentication and transaction limits for Internet banking transactions.

Additionally, they advise individuals to verify the authenticity of claims with official bank sources and refrain from sharing sensitive information over unsolicited communication channels.

The public is encouraged to report fraudulent activities promptly and utilize resources such as the ScamShield application for mobile devices to mitigate the risks of falling victim to scams.

Information on scams can be accessed through www.scamalert.sg or by contacting the Anti-Scam Helpline at 1800-722-6688.

Individuals with pertinent information about fraudulent activities are urged to reach out to the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or visit www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.

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Not surprising.
For the last 60 yrs, 75% of voters have been scammed and loving it.
Its now already in their DNA.
So easy to scam them on anything and everything.
12 yrs of formal education and still produce so many stupid people.
Even the teenagers succeeded in scamming the mature experienced adults.
No hope in this Sinkieland.
I suppose STUPIDITY has no cure.

20 years and mandatory 20 strokes of caning.

Like illicit pushers drug Scammers destroy lives and families by robbing people’s life savings. So if SG is so tough on convicted drug traffickers, scammers should face the same penalties.

The question is “are the penalties for those collaborating in these scams sufficient to deter others?”

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