Nine people investigated for suspected involvement in technical support scams

SINGAPORE: Nine people are assisting with police investigations over their suspected involvement in technical support scams, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said on Friday (Mar 29).

The suspects, eight men and one woman aged between 32 and 57, are believed to have facilitated such scams by “receiving monies”.

They were identified following an anti-scam operation carried out from Monday to Thursday by SPF’s Commercial Affairs Department and the seven police land divisions.

SPF said it had received at least 78 reports of technical support scams since January, with victims’ losses totalling about S$6.7 million (US$5 million).

In these scams, victims would receive pop-ups on their computers saying that their devices had been compromised. These pop-ups would contain phone numbers that victims could call to obtain “technical support”.

When a victim called one of these phone numbers, they would reach a scammer posing as a Microsoft or Apple employee who would claim that the victim’s device had been compromised by “hackers” and had been used for illegal activities.

The scammer would then instruct them to access a website or download software that would grant the scammer remote access to the victim’s device.

To reinforce the deceit, the call would be forwarded to another scammer claiming to be a law enforcement officer who would use the remote access function and pretend to help the victim lodge a fraudulent police report through a scam website, SPF said.

The scammers would then direct the victim to log into an internet banking account on the pretext of helping to apprehend the “hackers”.

Once the victim was logged in, the scammers would use the remote access function to perform unauthorised transactions using the victim’s bank account.

SPF said that in some cases, the scammers would guide victims to create cryptocurrency accounts or provide one-time passwords to authorise internet banking transactions.

Victims would later realise they had been scammed when they discovered unauthorised transfers or deductions from their bank accounts.

Preliminary investigations following the anti-scam operation revealed that the majority of the nine people being investigated “had allegedly facilitated the scams through receiving monies purportedly for the purpose of cryptocurrency trading”, SPF said.

Police advised members of the public to take the following steps if they believe they have fallen victim to a technical support scam:

  • Turn off your computer immediately to limit any further activities that the scammers can perform.
  • Uninstall any software that the scammers instructed you to install.
  • Perform a full antivirus scan on your computer and delete any malware that is detected.
  • Report the incident to your bank to halt further activities relating to your compromised bank account.
  • Change your internet banking credentials and remove any unauthorised payees who may have been added to the bank account.
  • Report the incident to the police.

This article was originally published by a . Read the Original article here. .