The Singapore police have sounded the alert about a phishing scam, which involves the download of a fake ScamShield App.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday (16 May), the Singapore Police Force warned members of the public not to download any suspicious apps on their devices, and also shared more details about the scam.
According to the police, in this scam variant, potential victims would come across advertisements for the sale of food items, such as otah, via social media messaging platforms such as Facebook on their Android mobile devices.
The victims would contact the scammers, who would then sent a URL to the victims and ask them to download the application within, in order to purchase said food items and to make payment.
Once a victim had downloaded the application, unauthorised transactions would be made from the victim's bank accounts or credit cards.
This, however, was not the end of the scam. The police said that shortly after making these unauthorised transactions, the scammers would then contact the victims and introduce themselves as bank stuff following up on the fraudulent transactions.
The scammers would then recommend the victims download the "ScamShield App" using a URL, which bore the ScamShield logo and looked like the real app, on the pretext of getting the victims to safeguard themselves against scams and to make a report via the app.
The police said that the scammers would insist the URL link provided was legitimate, and would inform victims not to download the ScamShield App from the official Google Play Store.
The police reminded members of the public of the dangers of downloading applications from third-party or dubious sites that could lead to malware being installed on victims' mobile phones, computers, and other Information Communications Technology (ICT) devices.
"Scammers will trick victims into installing malware-infected applications that are outside the app store. To find out more on downloading the ScamShield App on your Android devices, please refer to the official guide at https://www.scamshield.org.sg/setup-guide/," the police said.
"Beware: Scammers have been sending fake versions of the ScamShield app (ending with .apk) for unsuspecting victims to download. Do not download these files, as they can install viruses on your device, and give scammers access to your personal information," a message on the official ScamShield page read.
"Download the official ScamShield app only from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, and tell your friends and loved ones too," the message continued.
The ScamShield app is a collaboration between the National Crime Prevention Council, and the Open Government Products (OGP) team, and filters incoming calls and text messages.
While no specific cases were mentioned by the police in their post, scams involving fake applications have been recently reported in the news.
In one incident, a woman who saw a deal on a Facebook store offering Mao Shan Wang durians was scammed of her life savings and left with $5, after being tricked into installing a mobile application and entering her personal details.
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