Singapore

MAS warns against impersonation scams

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has warned of fraudulent messages and calls to members of the public that impersonate MAS staff and request for personal or bank account information.

In a statement yesterday, the MAS stressed that its officers will never ask for personal information, including Internet banking or credit card details, bank account username, personal identification numbers (PINs) or one-time passwords (OTP).

It advised the public not to authorise authentication requests, such as OTP prompts, if they did not initiate a transaction.

MAS said victims may receive regular phone calls or via applications like WhatsApp or Viber, with an MAS logo on display.

Fraudsters are also known to use spoofing technology to mask their actual phone numbers, instead displaying an MAS contact number.

Victims would typically be told by fraudsters that their bank account had been suspended and would be offered assistance to resolve it by providing their personal details.

Similar online impersonation scam cases have jumped by more than nine times in the past three years, from 71 in 2017 to 672 cases in the first 11 months of last year. The amount cheated grew from at least $168,000 to about $7.2 million over the same period of time.

MAS advised members of the public to report suspicious calls to webmaster@mas.gov.sg, or call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000.

For scam-related advice, go to scamalert.sg - OSMOND CHIA

COURT & CRIME