Hong Kong busts syndicate that stole credit card details from at least 21 Singaporeans
At least 21 Singaporeans were targeted by a transnational online credit card fraud syndicate believed to be operating from Hong Kong, the police said yesterday.
In a press release, the police said the syndicate has been crippled after a joint investigation by the Singapore Police Force's Commercial Affairs Department and the Hong Kong Police Force's (HKPF) Commercial Crime Bureau (CCB) and the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau.
The syndicate had allegedly used credit card details stolen through phishing e-mails from cardholders in Singapore to make fraudulent online purchases of electronic products in Hong Kong.
Five core members of the syndicate, including two foreign men and three Hong Kong women, aged between 26 and 37, were arrested by HKPF officers on July 6 over alleged online credit card fraud cases in Hong Kong.
Investigations revealed the syndicate had used the credit card details stolen from the Singaporean victims.
They had received e-mails purportedly from a technology and media services provider to update their payment details, and were then directed to a URL where they were deceived into entering their credit card details and one-time passwords.
Most of them realised they had been scammed only when they discovered unauthorised transactions in their credit and debit card statements.
These fraudulent online credit card purchases amounted to more than HK$270,000 (S$48,000).
The syndicate is also believed to have targeted victims from the United States and European countries including Italy and Portugal.