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Police Advisory On New Variant Of Technical Support Scams – Scammers Transfer Funds Out Of Victims' Bank Account Remotely By Impersonating Paypal

The Police would like to alert members of the public to a new variant of technical support scam where scammers would impersonate PayPal in order to gain access to 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 about $33,000.

In this new variant, potential victims would receive e-mails containing PayPal invoices that listed details of unauthorised transactions, for goods or services from third-party vendors. Victims who noticed this would then proceed to contact the helpline contact number included in the e-mail to dispute the transaction and request for a refund. Victims would then be transferred to a scammer impersonating an “agent from the third-party vendor” who would claim to be able to assist them.

The scammer would instruct the victims to download a software on their computers to facilitate the cancellation of transaction. Victims would not realise that the software would enable the scammers to remotely control the victims’ computers. Once the software was installed on the victims’ computers, the scammers would request for the victims to log into their online bank accounts. After the victims log into their bank accounts, the scammers would take over control of the victims’ computers and transfer funds out of victims’ bank accounts without their consent.

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

  1. Turn off their computer to halt further activities on their computer;

  2. Report the incident to their bank to halt further unauthorised access to their bank accounts;

  3. Change their iBanking credentials and remove any unauthorised payees added to their bank accounts; and

  4. Report the matter to the Police.

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

  1. Beware of unsolicited emails from dubious parties;

  2. Do not panic and do not follow instructions to install applications, type commands into your computer or log into your online banking accounts. You should also not provide your name, identification number, passport details, contact details, bank account or credit card details when the callers request for the information. When in doubt, always call the official hotline of your telecommunications service provider to verify the call. Call a trusted friend or speak with a relative before you comply with the scammer’s instructions as you may be pressured or confused by the scammers to act impulsively; and

  3. Do not click on any links if you believe the email or invoice may be fake. You can forward the email to phishing@paypal.com. PayPal is continuously working to protect its customers by identifying and taking necessary action against bad actors, including against fraudulent invoices created by them. Rest assured your PayPal account will not be charged for any item you did not purchase.

For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688. Anyone with information on such scams may 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

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