Victims Allegedly Cheated Twice In Fake ScamShield App Phishing Scam
In this day and age, most wouldn’t think twice before keying in their bank details when buying things off the Internet.
Unfortunately, it seems like scammers have come up with a new way to exploit unsuspecting consumers.
After providing his bank details to purchase otah, a 55-year-old man found unauthorised transactions being made from his bank account.
Scammers posing as bank staff later contacted the man, and prompted him to download a fake ScamShield app to lodge a report — a move which resulted in his mobile phone being compromised.
The Police has since released an advisory against such scams.
Man falls for scam twice in fake ScamShield App phishing scheme
In an advisory released on 16 May, the police shared that there was a phishing scam variant going around involving a fake ScamShield App.
The intricate scam sees victims cheated twice — first with fraudulent transactions made to their bank accounts due to fake sale items, then later with their phone compromised from a fake ScamShield app by scammers posing as bank staff.
According to The Straits Times (ST), the ordeal began after the man, Mr Chan, saw an otah advertisement on Facebook on 13 May.
Keen on purchasing the otah, he left his contact details in a message.
The ‘seller’ then contacted Mr Chan through WhatsApp, and asked him to place a deposit of S$12 through an app. However, his first attempt at making the transaction from his credit card failed.
He then told the ‘seller’ he would pay in cash, but she insisted that he do so through the app.
At this juncture, Mr Chan’s phone screen started to flicker.
This prompted him to uninstall the app, although he soon redownloaded it at the seller’s persuasion. Apparently, his second attempt at payment failed as well.
Mr Chan proceeded to delete the app again after his phone screen started to flicker for the second time.
Scammers posing as bank staff prompt victim to download fake app
The following day, Mr Chan received a call from an individual claiming to be from POSB’s fraud team.
The caller claimed that his account had been compromised, and there were three failed attempts to get a cash advance adding up to S$70,000 on his credit card.
Mr Chan cancelled his card after verifying the claims, and applied for a new replacement card.
Unfortunately, things only got worse. He was soon allegedly contacted by another individual claiming to be bank staff, under the pretense of following up on the fraudulent transactions.
The person urged him to download the ScamShield App using a URL link, to make a report within the app. They insisted that Mr Chan download the app through the URL, claiming the one in the official Google Play Store was not real.
The fake app fraudulently bore the official ScamShield logo, which was likely why Mr Chan let his guard down.
He realised belatedly that he got scammed for the second time after his phone screen started to flicker again.
He then proceeded to lodge a police report on the incident and cancelled his new card the next day.
Download apps from official platforms
In their advisory, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) noted that applications outside of official sources may be infected with malware. Such applications could compromise victim’s mobile phones, computers and other devices.
They also warned the public against downloading applications from third-party or dubious sites.
The police further urged scam victims to provide any information they may have through the Police Hotline at 1800-255-0000.
Alternatively, information on scams can be submitted online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
That said, if you intend to download any application, make sure to do so through official platforms.
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Read More: Man’s Bank Account Compromised After He Downloads Fake ScamShield App, Police