Unsuspecting Singaporeans have lost over S$1.5 million within a month, thanks to a new scam where crooks pretend to fix issues with their internet connection, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) announced on Wednesday (Sept 18).
It added that at least 21 cases of the scam had been reported since August.
Police said scammers impersonated the technical support staff of telco firm Singtel and pretended there were issues with victims’ internet connections or modem.
They would then ask them to download and install software such as “Teamviewer” or “AnyDesk” on their computers, promising that this would help solve the issue.
In some cases, scammers claimed to represent the fictitious “Cyber Crime Department of Singapore” or the “Cyber Police of Singapore” and asked victims to download the software to assist with criminal investigations.
They would then ask victims to log in to their online banking accounts, and use the newly-installed software to secretly transfer funds out of the account.
Victims of such scams should turn off their computers immediately and report the incident to their bank and the police, SPF said.
They should also change their online banking passwords and remove any unauthorised payee added to their bank accounts.
The SPF advised Singaporeans to be cautious about unsolicited calls claiming to be from telco providers or government agencies asking them to share financial information, install apps or log into online banking.
Instead, they should call the company or organisation’s official hotline to verify any requests, and talk to a friend or family member first.