Asia

Resurgence of scam targeting bank customers who are told their accounts have been suspended: Police

SINGAPORE – A scam where customers receive an SMS message claiming that their bank accounts have been suspended has resurfaced here, the police said on Monday (April 26).

These spoofed messages, which appear in the same thread as the official messages from local banks, would direct customers to call a phone number for assistance.

Swindlers impersonating bank staff would answer the call and ask victims for their NRIC and credit card details.

After providing their details, victims would discover that unauthorised transactions were made from their bank accounts.

When they contact the bank’s hotline, they would be told there are no security issues with their card.

The police said that those who receive a suspicious message or call purporting to be from their bank should verify it by calling the hotline published on the bank’s website and not the number provided in the SMS.


The spoofed messages appear in the same thread as the official messages from local banks. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

They should also check the messages for grammatical errors, which is an indication of a scam.

Police said the public should not disclose their banking details and one-time password to anyone.

In January, police warned of a scam involving callers who impersonate Singapore government officials.

Victims in such cases receive phone calls or messages allegedly from government agencies, such as the police or Ministry of Manpower, claiming that there are issues with their bank accounts.

The same ruse would then be used to get their banking or personal details.

Around 900 cases of bank-related phishing scams were reported in the first six months of 2020, an increase of more than 25 times from just 34 such cases for the same period in 2019.

Losses amounted to more than $3.6 million for the same period in 2020.

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