New S’pore phishing scam involves ads for cleaning services, police say app contains malware
Police warn public of cleaning service ads phishing scam
Most of us do a lot of things online these days, including ordering food and shopping.
This presents a hotbed of opportunity for scammers, who have become increasingly adept at using various online tactics to trick unsuspecting buyers.
On Tuesday, June 14, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) sent out a notice regarding a new type of phishing scam involving cleaning advertising services.
After agreeing to use the service, victims download an app to make payments. The app, which contains malware, then gains unauthorized access to the user’s bank details.
So far, two victims have lost S$2,000.
Cleaning services app contains malware
Straits Time (ST) reported that in the notice, the SPF stated that these cleaning service announcements are sent through social messaging platforms.
Once the victims decide to hire the services of the cleaning company, they receive a link from which they can download an app to make the payment.
After installing the app on their mobile phones, victims are prompted to make payment through legitimate banking sites. The app is believed to contain malware, designed to damage and gain unauthorized access to a system.
The malware would have access to bank details entered by the victims, as well as text messages sent to their phones.
The victims only realized they had been scammed when they discovered unauthorized transactions made from their bank accounts.
At least two victims are believed to have fallen prey to the scam, resulting in losses of at least S$2,000.
Police advise public to beware of phishing scams
According NewsAsia Channel (NAC)police advised the public to take precautionary measures such as:
- Only download files from official and verified sources to make sure they don’t contain malware or viruses
- Ensure computers, devices and cell phones with internet access have regularly updated anti-virus software and malware removal tools
- Updating apps and device operating systems to ensure protection with the latest security patches and vulnerabilities
Those who have more information about these phishing scams can call 1800-255-0000 or submit information through FPS website.
Visit the Scam Alert Website or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688 for more information on scams.
Or join the “Spot the Signs. Stop the crimes. campaign on the same website by choosing to receive regular scam updates.
Those in urgent need of help can call 999.
Prevention is always better than cure
We may try new products, services or platforms from time to time.
But when it comes to online transactions, always be very careful. If possible, make transactions only on official and verified sites.
Trust your instincts. If anything looks suspicious, consider canceling the transaction.
After all, prevention is better than cure.
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Featured image adapted from @priscilladupreez on Unsplash.