2 teens arrested in anti-scam enforcement operation , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

2 teens arrested in anti-scam enforcement operation

Two teenagers were among four arrested for their suspected involvement in a recent spate of SMS banking-related phishing scam cases.

Two men, aged 23 and 52, and two male teenagers, aged 16 and 17, were arrested in an islandwide operation between Jan 22 and 24 by officers from the Commercial Affairs Department, the police said on Jan 25.

Preliminary investigations showed that they had allegedly facilitated the scams by relinquishing their bank accounts, Internet banking credentials or disclosing Singpass credentials for profit, the police added.

The police said they have received reports in January of SMS banking-related phishing scams, where scammers would impersonate DBS Bank or the bank’s employees through spoofed SMSes to phish for victims’ banking credentials.

In these cases, the victims received unsolicited SMSes – from both overseas and local numbers, or short codes – claiming to represent DBS Bank or POSB Bank.

The messages warned victims of possible unauthorised attempts to access their bank accounts and instructed them to click on URL links in the SMSes to verify their identities and stop the transactions.

The victims were directed to spoofed DBS Bank websites after clicking on the links, and were misled into providing their Internet banking credentials and one-time passwords (OTPs), which the scammers could use to make unauthorised withdrawals.

The 23-year-old man will be charged in court with abetting unknown persons to secure unauthorised access to the bank’s computer system.

First-time offenders can be fined up to $5,000, jailed for up to two years, or both.

The man will also be charged with disclosing Singpass credentials.

First-time offenders can be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to three years, or both.

The police urged the public to reject money-making opportunities that seem attractive, and promise fast and easy pay-outs for the use of their Singpass accounts or bank accounts.

“The police would like to remind members of the public that individuals will be held accountable if they are found to be linked to such crimes,” they added.

They also advised the public to download the ScamShield application on their mobile devices and enable security features such as two-factor authentication, or multi-factor authentication for banks, and transaction limits for Internet banking transactions.

The public should verify any claims with official bank websites or sources. Banks will never send clickable links via SMS, and neither will their employees call to ask for Internet banking credentials or OTPs.

The police encouraged the public to tell the authorities, family and friends about scams, as well as report any fraudulent transactions to the bank immediately.

For information on scams, visit scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Helpline on 1800-722-6688.

Those with information about such scams can call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or go to police.gov.sg/iwitness