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Police warn of SMS scam as 18 victims lose S$120,000 in January

SINGAPORE: Police have warned members of the public not to fall for scam SMSes that claim their credit or debit cards have been suspended. 

At least 18 victims have lost S$120,000 since the start of this year, said the Singapore Police Force (SPF) in a news release on Monday (Jan 31). 

The police said victims of the scam received an SMS from a “fake number” stating that there were “issues” with their credit or debit cards. 

The message also provided a phone number and invited victims to call “for assistance”. 

“After calling the number, victims would speak to scammers who would claim that there are issues with the victims’ credit/debit cards and request for their (card) details and one-time password (OTP) under the pretext of assisting the victims,” SPF said. 

Victims only realised they were scammed after fraudulent transactions had been made on their cards. 

Such SMSes are not sent out by banks or issuers of credit or debit cards, the police noted. 

Members of the public should always verify the authenticity of the information by checking the numbers listed on official bank websites or printed on their bank cards. 

People should also never disclose their personal information, card details or OTP to others, or transfer funds into bank accounts belonging to someone they do not know, said the police in their advisory. 

Fraudulent transactions should be reported to the bank immediately, SPF added. 

The police also encouraged members of the public to download the ScamShield app, which “identifies and filters out scam messages using artificial intelligence”. 

“It also blocks calls from phone numbers that were used in other scam cases or reported by ScamShield users. It is currently available for iPhone users, and an Android version will be rolled out progressively,” SPF said. 

Source: CNA/vc