SINGAPORE — The police have alerted the public to a fake Singapore Police Force (SPF) website that phishes for users’ confidential information by claiming that their Web browser is “locked”.
In an advisory released on its website on Tuesday (28 January), the police said the scammers made use of a browser’s full-screen mode to show a Windows 10 desktop image displaying the fake SPF website, which will fill up the entire screen.
As it is an image, victims would not be able to click on the Start menu or to close/open applications, and would assume that the desktop was indeed locked. The fake website would further allege that the browser was blocked “due to viewing and dissemination of materials forbidden by (the) law of Singapore”.
Victims would be asked to enter their credit card details, purportedly to unlock the browser. As such, the fake website is “phishing” for user information – extracting unsuspecting victims’ personal information and banking details.
Such illegal action could result in monetary losses for the victims, as scammers would use the details to make unauthorised purchases and transactions.
The police clarified in the advisory that they do not have access to lock a user’s desktop, and that the official SPF website’s URL is www.police.gov.sg.
How to deal with the fake website
The public is advised to do the following if they encounter the fake SPF website:
Press Alt+Tab to see if it is possible to switch back to the normal desktop; or
Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to open the Task Manager and terminate any Web browser processes.
Refrain from giving out personal information and bank details, such as Internet bank account usernames and password, and OTP codes from tokens. Such information is useful to criminals.
Those in doubt, or those with information related to such crimes, can call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online. For urgent police assistance, dial 999.
To seek scam-related advice, call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg . Join the “let’s fight scams” campaign by signing up as an advocate to receive up-to-date messages and share them with family and friends.
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