Police warn of scammers using fake PayPal invoices in new variant of tech support scam
A new kind of tech support scam has emerged, involving the use of fintech company PayPal's name.
Since January, there have been at least four victims, with one losing about $33,000, the police said on Wednesday (May 18).
In this new variant, victims receive e-mails looking like PayPal invoices listing details of unauthorised transactions, for goods or services from third-party vendors.
In the e-mail, a fake helpline is provided, which victims believe they can call to dispute the transaction and seek a refund.
When they call the number, victims are transferred to a scammer impersonating an agent from the third-party vendor, who would claim to be able to help them.
The scammer will then instruct the victims to download some software on their computer to facilitate the cancellation of the transaction.
"Victims would not realise that the software would enable the scammers to remotely control the victims' computers," said the police.
Once the software is installed, scammers ask victims to log into their online bank accounts.
After the victims log into their bank accounts, scammers can take over their computers and transfer funds out of victims' bank accounts without their consent.
In April, the police said that at least 154 victims lost $7.1 million to tech support scams since January this year.
Other methods used in tech support scams involve scammers claiming to be employees of Internet service providers and offering to fix wi-fi network issues in order to gain access to victims' bank accounts remotely.
"If any member of the public believes they have fallen prey to the scam, they should immediately turn off their computer to halt further activities," the police said.
"Do not panic and do not follow instructions to install applications, type commands into your computer or log into your online banking accounts."
Those who are unsure whether the invoice they receive from "PayPal" is real, can forward the e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, said the police.
They added that the fintech company is taking action against those who create fraudulent invoices and that customers will not be charged for any item they did not buy.
Members of the public can also lodge a police report and inform the bank to stop further unauthorised access to their bank accounts.