Singapore

Beware of online credit card scams

The police have received more than 20 reports of unauthorised charges to people's credit cards as a result of online scams so far this year.

Victims provided their credit or debit card information to buy software for fake virus infection on their computers, the police revealed in a statement to the media yesterday.

First, users would see a pop-up message on their computer screens suggesting that their computers had been infected with a virus or their passwords and information might have been leaked.

They were then given a toll-free telephone number they could use to call "Microsoft" to resolve the issue.

Those who made the call ended up speaking to operators who claimed they were employed by Wetechconsultants, Microsoft or Apple.

The victims were asked to download an application from a website or to enter commands on their computers. This gave the scammers remote access to and control over their computers.

The scammers also told the victims that they had to purchase "anti-virus software" to fix the computers, asking for personal particulars - such as their identity card numbers - and credit or debit card details.

This allowed the scammers to make unauthorised transactions using these card details.

- THE STRAITS TIMES

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