Singapore

Police warn of WhatsApp messages asking for personal information

Be careful of WhatsApp messages asking for personal information or sharing links, even if they are from familiar contacts, said the police.

They might be impersonated by a scammer hoping to obtain banking credentials or one-time passwords (OTPs).

In an advisory issued yesterday, the police warned about recent banking-related phishing cases involving WhatsApp accounts that had been compromised.

Scammers took over WhatsApp accounts by getting a six-digit account verification code from the victims directly or through their voicemail accounts using the default PIN used by telco providers.

This code, sent by SMS or a voice call, which may go to voicemail if the user does not pick up, is required to verify a phone number linked to the account.

Using these compromised WhatsApp accounts, scammers message the victims' friends or contacts to trick them into revealing their personal information or send them phishing links to fake websites to collect their bank credentials and OTPs.

The victims learn that they have been scammed only when they discover unauthorised transactions made from their bank accounts, the police said.

The police advised people to be vigilant by not sharing their WhatsApp account verification codes, personal information, banking details and OTPs with anyone.

Those with information related to such scams are advised to call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000.

For more information on scams, visit www.scamalert.sg or call the anti-scam hotline on 1800-722-6688. 

This article first appeared in The Straits Times.

COURT & CRIME