Singapore police advisory: Resurgence of Scams involving the takeover of Whatsapp accounts

 

The Singapore Police would like to alert the public on the resurgence of scams involving the takeover of WhatsApp accounts.

Typically, in such a scam, a victim would receive a WhatsApp message from a friend or family member whose WhatsApp account has been compromised, requesting the victim to send over a 6-digit verification code sent to him or her earlier. After providing the scammer with the 6-digit verification code, the victim would lose access to his or her WhatsApp account.

Through these compromised WhatsApp accounts, scammers would impersonate as the victim and ask the people in the victim’s WhatsApp contact list for their contact numbers and images of their credit or debit cards.

The scammers’ requests would be on the pretext of helping them to register and claim prizes for fake lucky draws allegedly conducted by Lazada, Shopee or Qoo10.

The scammers would also ask them for their One-Time Password (OTP) sent to their mobile numbers. Those who shared their OTP eventually realised that they were cheated after discovering unauthorised transactions made on their bank or credit / debit card accounts.

Previously, scammers have employed similar tactics through social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Members of the public are advised to adopt the following crime prevention measures:

  1. Don’t Panic – Beware of unusual requests from strangers or even your social media contacts;
  2. Don’t Believe – Be wary of claims that you have won a prize, especially if you have not participated in any campaign or lucky draw. Check the official websites to determine whether the lucky draw offers are legitimate. Always verify the authenticity of the request by contacting your friend, but do not do so through the social media platform as the account might have been taken over by scammers; and
  3. Don’t Give – Do not transfer money or give out your personal information, bank account or credit/ debit card details and One-Time Password (OTP) to anyone, including family and friends.

Members of the public are advised to adopt the following measures to prevent their WhatsApp accounts from being compromised:

  1.  Never share your WhatsApp account verification codes or any One-Time Password (OTP) with anyone; and
  2.  Protect your WhatsApp account by enabling the ‘Two-Step Verification’ feature, which is available under ‘Account’ in the ‘Settings’ tab of your WhatsApp application.

Source — Singapore Police Media