New Phishing Scam In S’pore Involves Cleaning Services Ads, Police Say App Contains Malware

Police Warn Public Of Cleaning Services Ads Phishing Scam

These days, most of us do many things online, including ordering food and shopping.

This presents a hotbed of opportunity to scammers, who have become increasingly clever about using various tactics online to trick unsuspecting buyers.

On Tuesday (14 Jun), the Singapore Police Force (SPF) sent an advisory about a new type of phishing scam involving cleaning ads services.

After agreeing to use the service, victims download an app to make payments. The app, which contains malware, then gains unauthorised access to the user’s banking details.

So far, two victims have lost S$2,000.

Cleaning services app contains malware

The Straits Times (ST) reported that in the advisory, the SPF said such cleaning services ads are sent via social messaging platforms.

Source: 8world News

After the victims decide to engage the services of the cleaning company, they are sent a link, from which they can download an app to make payment.

After installing the app on their mobile phone, victims are then asked to make payment through legitimate banking sites. The app is believed to contain malware, which is designed to damage and gain unauthorised access to a system.

The malware reportedly accesses the banking details keyed in by the victims, as well as the SMSes sent to their phones.

The victims only realised they had been scammed when they discovered unauthorised transactions made from their bank accounts.

At least two victims have allegedly fallen prey to the scam, incurring losses of at least S$2,000.

Police advise public to be careful of phishing scams

According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), the police advised the public to take precautionary measures such as:

  • Only downloading files from official and verified sources to ensure they do not contain malware or viruses
  • Ensuring computers, devices, and mobile phones with Internet access have regularly updated anti-virus software and malware removal tools installed
  • Updating apps and operating systems of devices to ensure protection by the latest security patches and vulnerabilities

Those who have more information on such phishing scams can call 1800-255-0000 or submit information through the SPF website.

Visit the ScamAlert website or call the anti-scam hotline at 1800-722-6688 to get more information on scams.

Or join the “Spot the Signs. Stop the Crimes.” campaign on the same website by opting to receive regular updates on scams.

Those who need help urgently can call 999.

Always better to be safe than sorry

We may try new products, services or platforms from time to time.

But when it comes to online transactions, always be extra cautious. If possible, only transact on official and verified sites.

Trust your instincts. If something seems suspicious, consider calling off the transaction.

After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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