Police warn of pretend financial institution hotlines in Google search commercials, victims misplaced $495,000, Latest Singapore News


The police have warned of rip-off commercials on Google search the place faux financial institution hotlines would seem when customers seek for banks’ contact numbers.

Since final December, at the least 15 victims have fallen for such scams, the police stated in an announcement on Wednesday (Jan 19).

The losses amounted to at the least $495,000.

In such instances, the victims needed to hunt the banks’ recommendation and looked for the banks’ contact numbers. They would come throughout the rip-off commercial’s faux contact numbers, which seem as the primary few search outcomes on Google search.

The victims would name the faux quantity and communicate to a scammer impersonating as a financial institution workers.

“After sharing the reasons for contacting the bank, victims would be informed that there were issues with their bank account, credit/debit cards or loan amount,” the police stated.

The victims are then instructed to briefly switch the funds to financial institution accounts, underneath the pretext of resolving the checking account or credit score or debit card situation, or to make a fee for the excellent mortgage.

In some instances, victims would obtain an SMS message with the sender identify displaying that of the financial institution – spoofed by the scammers.

The message would declare that the financial institution was facilitating a reset of the victims’ checking account “as part of the “Let’s Fight Scam” Campaign by the Anti-Scam Centre and Singapore Police Force”.

Other messages would additionally state that the sufferer wanted to switch cash for early mortgage settlement.

The police stated: “Victims would only realise that they had been scammed when they contacted the bank via the authentic hotline to verify the new bank account number or when the bank contacted them to verify the reason for the large sum of money transferred.”

The police suggested individuals to all the time confirm data with numbers listed on official financial institution web site, or behind the playing cards issued by the banks.

Never switch funds into financial institution accounts belonging to a stranger, and by no means disclose private data or banking particulars and one-time passwords (OTP) to anybody, the police added.

Any fraudulent transactions must be reported to the financial institution instantly.

Those with data on such scams can name the police on 1800-255-0000 or submit it at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness

More scam-related recommendation could be discovered through the anti-scam hotline on 1800-722-6688 or at www.scamalert.sg

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