The Police would like to alert members of the public on a resurgence of the scam involving takeover of WhatsApp accounts. Since January 2019, the Police have received at least 90 reports where WhatsApp accounts were taken over by scammers. Victims would receive a WhatsApp message from a friend whose WhatsApp account has been compromised, requesting the victim to send over a 6-digit verification code sent to them via short message service (SMS). The victims then lost the access to their WhatsApp account after providing the scammers the 6-digit verification codes.
Scammers have been known to use the compromised WhatsApp accounts to deceive unsuspecting victims into performing monetary transfers, sending over Money Online (MOL) points, purchasing gift cards and sending over the password for the cards. The scammers then sold the gift cards online.
Members of the public are advised to adopt the following crime prevention measures:
a. Beware of unusual requests received over WhatsApp, even if they were sent by your WhatsApp contacts;
b. Always call your friend to verify the authenticity of the request, but do not do so through the social media platform as the account might have been taken over by scammers;
c. Protect your WhatsApp account by enabling the 'Two-Step Verification' feature, which is available under 'Account' in the 'Settings' tab of your WhatsApp application. This will prevent others from compromising your WhatsApp account.
If you wish to provide any information related to such scams, please call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. If you require urgent Police assistance, please dial '999'.
To seek scam-related advice, you may call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg. Join the 'let's fight scams' campaign at www.scamalert.sg/fight by signing up as an advocate to receive up-to-date messages and share them with your family and friends. Together, we can help stop scams and prevent our loved ones from becoming the next victim.
Source: Singapore Police Force