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Police Advisory On Malware Spread Through Fraudulent Postings Involving The Sale Of Cny Goodies

The Police have observed an emerging variant of malware scam where victims would respond to alleged fraudulent advertisements of food items such as CNY goodies, many of which were posted on Facebook and Instagram. Since September 2023, at least five victims have fallen prey, with total losses amounting to at least $167,000. Members of the public are advised to be wary of such fraudulent advertisements on Facebook or Instagram.

In these cases, victims would come across advertisements on Facebook or Instagram promoting the sale of CNY goodies. Upon clicking on the link of the said advertisement, victims would be redirected to WhatsApp, Facebook or Instagram messaging platforms to communicate with the “sellers”. Victims would be directed to download an Android Package Kit (APK) through malicious links to place orders for the food items. The APK is an app created for the Android operating system. After downloading and installing the APK file (which includes granting the app accessibility services), the victims would be instructed to key in their banking credentials to make full or partial payment for the items. Unknown to the victims, the scammers will be able to access the victim’s device remotely to steal banking credentials and passwords. Subsequently, victims would discover unauthorised transactions from their banking accounts.

The Police would like to remind members of the public of the danger of downloading apps from third-party or dubious sites. Members of the public are advised to adopt the following precautionary measures:

  1. ADD – ScamShield to protect yourselves from scam calls and SMSes. Add anti-virus applications and ensure that these apps are updated to scan for the latest malware. Also ensure your devices’ operating systems and applications are updated regularly to be protected by the latest security patches. Please refer to Annex A for the list of recommended anti-virus apps. Disable “Install Unknown App” or “Unknown Sources” in your phone settings and do not grant permission to persistent pop-ups that request for access to your device’s hardware or data. 

  2. CHECK - For scam signs with official sources (e.g. ScamShield WhatsApp bot @, call the Anti-Scam Helpline on 1800-722-6688, or visit Only download and install applications from official app stores (i.e., Google Play Store for Android). Be wary if asked to download unknown apps in order to purchase items on Facebook or Instagram. Check the developer information on the app listing as well as the number of downloads and user reviews to ensure it is reputable and legitimate. 

  3. TELL - Authorities, family, and friends about scams. Report the suspicious content or advertisement to Facebook or Instagram. Initiate in-app blocking by reporting the number linked to the advertisement to WhatsApp. Lastly, report any fraudulent transactions to your bank immediately.

If you have already downloaded and installed the app (which includes granting the app accessibility services) or suspect that your phone is infected with malware, please take the following steps:

  1. Turn your phone to “flight mode”. Check that Wi-Fi is switched off and do not switch it on.

  2. Run an anti-virus scan on your phone.

  3. Check your bank account/Singpass/CPF etc for any unauthorised transaction(s) using other device(s).

  4. If there are unauthorised transaction(s), report to the bank, relevant authorities, and lodge a Police report.

  5. After completing steps a-c, if you believe that your phone has not been infected with malware, you may resume usage of your phone. As a further precaution, you may consider doing a “factory reset” of your phone and changing important passwords. 

If you have any information relating to such crimes or if you are in doubt, please call the Police Hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at All information will be kept strictly confidential. If you require urgent Police assistance, please dial ‘999’.

For more information on scams, members of the public can visit or call the Anti-Scam Helpline at 1800-722-6688. Fighting scams is a community effort. Together, we can ACT Against Scams to safeguard our community!

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17 January 2024 @ 12:32 PM
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