How to tell if a website is fake
New twist, same purpose - to steal your money.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday (Sept 21), the police warned of a new variation of scam where scammers would impersonate a police officer.
It wrote that a 41-year-old woman received a call from someone claiming to be a police officer who told her that she was involved in money laundering activities.
She was then given a link to a website where she had to key in her personal and banking details supposedly for purposes of investigations.
The link provided led to a site which bore close resemblance to the E-Services page of the Singapore Police Force's website.
The woman had keyed in her personal details and Internet banking credentials on the site.
As a result, she lost more than $80,000.
So how do you spot a fake website?
Check the domain name.
Police has clarified that the official police force website is www.police.gov.sg.
So if you are being asked to go to a website that has a different address, even if it's just slightly different than the official one, you should be on the alert that it could be a fake website.
Verify that the link leads to a safe website
Google can help you determine if the site that you are visiting is safe. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB GOOGLE.
Google can help you check if the site you are being directed to has recently hosted malware.
Just pop the address into the search box and it will tell you if the site is safe.
Check for the "S"
Singapore Police Force's I-Witness site uses HTTPS. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE.
HTTP stands for Hyper Test Transfer Protocol.
It is the protocol by which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are visiting.
HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP. ("S" stands for secure)
This means that all communication between your browser and the website is encrypted.
Most websites that are asking you to transfer confidential data, such as personal information or bank details, between you and the site would use HTTPS.
Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome also display a padlock icon in the address bar to show that a HTTPS connection is present.
For example, police's online form to provide information about criminal activity, I-Witness, uses HTTPS.
So if the site that is asking you to type in sensitive information, information such as your bank details or passwords, does not have HTTPS, please be wary.
Additionally, the police have reminded the public that no Government agency would ask for payment or personal information through a phone call or to a third party
If you receive a call from an unknown origin,
- Do not answer the call
- Ignore any instructions to transfer money to them
- Refrain from giving out personal information and bank details whether over the phone or to a website.
Other instances where scammers impersonated government officials.
In June 2016, police issued an alert about scammers calling people and pretending to be police officers to ask for their personal information.
In January 2016, the Ministry of Manpower alerted the public of a fake website that asked for users' identification, work permit or passport numbers.
In December 2015, a fake Central Provident Fund website popped up. Singapore's Cyber Security Agency removed the website soon after it was brought it to their attention.