Asia Singapore 154 people lost $7.1 million to computer tech support scam

154 people lost $7.1 million to computer tech support scam

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The technical support scam has made a comeback. Since January this year, 154 people have been deceived, involving an amount of up to $7.1 million.

The Singapore Police Force and the Singapore Cyber ​​Security Agency of Singapore issued a joint statement on April 26, saying that tech support scams under the guise of assisting victims with computer or wireless network problems have made a comeback in recent days. Since January this year, 154 people have been defrauded of $7.1 million.

Scammers usually do it in two ways

The first method: A pop-up window appears on the victim’s computer browser, with a warning message indicating that the computer is under attack, and the victim is asked to contact software providers such as Microsoft and are provided a helpline. This number is usually in the form of +653159 (XXXX), which victims mistakenly believe is a real local helpline, when in fact they are being called by a scammer posing as a technician.

The second way: the victim receives an unfamiliar phone call, and the scammer pretends to be a network service provider such as Singtel, claiming that the victim’s wireless network has been hacked, so they have called to help. Scammers sometimes pretend to be police officers or Cyber ​​Security Agency investigators, claiming suspicious transfers in victims’ bank accounts, and even use account renaming scams to send emails from spoofed email accounts to the victims with emails like investigation@csa.gov.sg.

Through these means, the crooks will further ask the victim to download remote control software such as Teamviewer, Ultraviewer or AnyDesk, and ask the victim to use the computer to log in to online banking, or provide their credit card, debit card, one-time password and other information, and then use the The remote control software transfers money from the victim’s bank account or bank card.

In some cases, scammers pretend that this is part of the verification process and ask victims to scan the fake Singpass QR code on the phishing website. After the victim scans and authorises the transactions, the victims have inadvertently allowed the scammers to use their information. Cryptocurrency electronic wallets are created and used for illegal transfer transactions by the scammers.

The police and CSA reminded members of the public that no telecommunications service provider or government agency will request for personal details as well as access to online bank accounts over the phone or through automated voice machines.

Log out of the account and turn off the computer to avoid being scammed

If the public suspects that they have fallen into a similar scam, they should immediately uninstall all the software instructed to install, log out of their accounts, and shut down the computer to prevent the other party from further actions; the public should also immediately notify the bank, change their bank information, and remove the account details from the unauthorized recipients and call the police immediately.

To avoid falling into similar scams, the public should be vigilant about phone numbers with a “+” in front of them, avoid answering or following the caller’s instructions; do not follow the caller’s instructions to install software, do not allow the caller to operate the computer, and do not log in to online banking. When in doubt, immediately verify the authenticity with an official. When logging into the Singpass app, you should double-check and do not authorise the login if it is suspicious.

Members of the public who notice suspicious transactions on Singpass should call 6335-3533 to report and reset their passwords. The public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the anti-fraud hotline 1800-722-6688 for more information on fraud prevention. In addition, the public can also call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or go online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness to provide fraud tips to the police. All information will be kept confidential.

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