In case you didn’t get the memo yet, while almost every other industry is dying to Covid-19, the scamming industry is booming.

Image: Tenor

They got at least $7.7 million in tech support scams and now, a 30-fold spike in phishing scams.

Police Warns of More Phishing Scams Like Netflix or Paypal Asking You to Update Your Payment Details

On 9 Jun 2020, the Singapore Police Force issued an advisory against phishing scams.

They said that there were at least 221 reports lodged since Jan 2020.

In a comparison between Jan to May 2020 against the same period last year, the number of cases has multiplied by 30.

Image: Giphy

Yes. 30 times more. Scam cases have increased from 9 in 2019 to 266 this year.

How Such Scams Operate:

According to the police reports lodged, the SPF is able to outline the general M.O. of phishing scams:

  • Sends an email or text from a company victims trust (Netflix, Paypal, McDonald’s, SingPost, etc)
  • Email or text will contain fake offers or claims to make you click into a URL (things like making payment for your parcel, verifying your account, update payment details)
Example of a phishing email / Image: SPF
Example of a phishing text message / Image: SPF

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  • When you click on the URL, you’ll be brought to a fake website that looks like the real deal. The websites will also ask for your credit or debit card details and a One-Time Password (OTP)
Our brains automatically process images so if it’s the same colour scheme / Image: SPF
Nine times out of ten, we’ll be convinced / Image: SPF
  • Victims only realise they’ve been duped after receiving notifications about money going out of their accounts.

*Cue crying*

Image: gipfy

How Can You Prevent Such A Thing From Happening:

Don’t want to be the next top victim? Here are a few tips from our handsome men in blue you might want to know:

  1. Don’t click on any URL in such emails or text messages; instead, go to your browser, type in the company’s website and check from there
  2. Verify the information with the official website or sources (if it’s a lucky draw, they will usually have it at the front page; if it’s to update account details, go to the official site and log in from there, they will usually give you a prompt once you’re logged in.)
  3. No one (other than scammers) will want your banking details and OTP; anyone who ask for it is a scammer.
  4. Report any fraudulent credit/debit card charges to your bank and cancel the card immediately.

These tips, coupled with this rule of the thumb (if it’s too good to be true, it usually is), will keep you safe as long as you follow them strictly.

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