154 victims lose at least $7.1m to tech support scams since January

SINGAPORE – Over the previous 4 months, at least 154 victims have misplaced $7.1 million to tech support scams, the police stated in a joint assertion with the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) on Tuesday (April 26).

This rip-off, which isn’t new, entails scammers pretending to help victims with pc or Wi-Fi community points so as to achieve entry to their funds.

One technique noticed victims obtain a pop-up alert whereas utilizing the Internet on their computer systems.

The alert states that their pc has been compromised, with directions to contact the software program supplier, akin to Microsoft.

“The number usually appears as variants of +653159(XXXX), leading victims to believe that it is a valid local help desk contact number,” stated the police and CSA.

Victims who referred to as the quantity spoke to scammers who impersonated tech support personnel.

The second technique noticed victims obtain unsolicited calls from scammers who claimed to be working for Internet service suppliers akin to Singtel.

The scammers would inform the victims that their Wi-Fi community has been compromised by hackers and have been calling to help with the problem.

In some situations, the scammers claimed there have been fraudulent transactions comprised of the sufferer’s checking account and that authorities officers have been investigating the problem.

To make their claims appear professional, the fraudsters despatched pretend verification emails from spoofed accounts akin to “[email protected]” to the victims.

In each strategies, scammers instructed victims to obtain a distant entry software, akin to TeamViewer, UltraViewer or AnyDesk, which gave the scammers management of the victims’ units.

“Under the pretext of resolving the issue, the scammers would instruct victims to log into their Internet banking account and provide their credit or debit card details, as well as one-time password,” the authorities stated.

Using distant entry, the scammers would then switch funds from the sufferer’s financial institution accounts or make fraudulent prices to the financial institution playing cards.

The police and CSA additionally highlighted a 3rd technique utilized by scammers the place victims have been directed to scan a Singpass QR code on a phishing web site. Scammers claimed that this was a part of the verification course of.

When victims did so, scammers might create cryptocurrency wallets with their particulars, which might be used to facilitate the stream of illicit proceeds.

The authorities clarified that no telecommunications service supplier or authorities company would request a person’s private particulars, entry to their on-line checking account over the telephone or via automated voice machines, or ask for cost for companies rendered.

Should anybody fall for a rip-off, they need to uninstall any software program that was downloaded beneath the scammer’s directions after which flip off the machine to restrict the scammer’s illicit actions.

Apart from altering their Internet banking credentials and eradicating any unauthorised payees that will have been added to their financial institution accounts, victims must also inform their banks and the police of the incident.

To keep away from getting scammed, the authorities reminded folks to ignore calls with the ‘+’ signal prefix because it signifies that it’s a global incoming name or spoofed name.

They added that when logging right into a digital service utilizing the Singpass app, it will be significant to be certain that the area URL displayed on the Singpass app’s consent web page matches that on the browser earlier than continuing.

“If not, do not tap on the ‘Log in’ button on the consent screen,” the authorities stated.

Members of the general public who want to present info associated to scams can name the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit it online.

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