Police notice of new variant of tech support scams – Scammers remotely transfer funds from victims’ bank account pretending to be Paypal

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Police want to alert members of the public to a new variant of tech support scam where scammers allegedly impersonate PayPal in order to gain access and steal money from the victim’s bank account. Since January 2022, at least four victims have fallen prey to this new variant. One of the victims had lost approximately $33,000.

In this new variation, potential victims would receive emails containing PayPal invoices showing details of unauthorized transactions, for goods or services from third-party vendors. Victims who noticed this would then contact the helpline phone number given in the email to dispute the transaction and request a refund. Victims would then be transferred to a scammer posing as a “third-party provider agent” who would claim to be able to help them.

The scammer would ask the victims to download software to their computers to facilitate the reversal of the transaction. Victims wouldn’t realize that the software would allow crooks to remotely control victims’ computers. Once the software was installed on the victims’ computers, the scammers would ask the victims to log into their online bank accounts. Once the victims logged into their bank accounts, the crooks would take over the victims’ computers and transfer funds out of the victims’ bank accounts without their consent.

If a member of the public believes they have fallen prey to the scam, they should immediately:

  1. Shut down their computer to stop other activities on their computer;
  2. Report the incident to their bank to prevent unauthorized access to their bank accounts;
  3. Change their iBanking credentials and remove any unauthorized payees added to their bank accounts; and
  4. Report the matter to the police.

Members of the public are encouraged to adopt the following preventive measures:

  1. Beware of unsolicited emails from dubious parties;
  2. Don’t panic and follow prompts to install apps, type commands into your computer, or log into your online banking accounts. You also don’t have to provide your name, ID number, passport details, contact details, bank account or credit card details when callers ask for this information. If in doubt, always call the official hotline of your telecommunications service provider to verify the call. Call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before complying with the scammer’s instructions, as you may be coerced or confused by the scammers into acting impulsively; and
  3. Do not click on any link if you think the email or invoice may be fake. You can forward the email to [email protected] PayPal continually strives to protect its customers by identifying and taking action against malicious actors, including fraudulent invoices created by them. Rest assured that your PayPal account will not be charged for any items you have not purchased.

For more information on the scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Helpline at 1800-722-6688. Anyone with information about such scams can call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. All information will be kept strictly confidential.

Annex A

Image of a fake invoice



PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
May 18, 2022 at 6:40 PM

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