Police warn of scams involving takeover of WhatsApp accounts

FILE PHOTO: Getty Images

Police have advised the public to be aware of scams involving takeover of WhatsApp accounts, in a media statement released on Friday (11 January).

Since the start of this month, the police have received at least 10 reports of such scams. Victims would receive a WhatsApp message from a “friend” (whose WhatsApp account has been compromised) requesting to send over their WhatsApp account verification codes.

The victims subsequently would lose access to their WhatsApp accounts after providing the scammers their WhatsApp account verification codes.

Scammers have been known to use the compromised accounts to trick unsuspecting victims into performing monetary transfers or sending over Money Online (MOL) points.

They have also used the accounts to buy gift cards and send over the passwords for the cards. The scammers would then sell the gift cards online.

Preventive measures to stop Whatsapp scams

Members of the public are advised to adopt the following crime prevention measures:

  • Beware of unusual requests received over WhatsApp, even if they were sent by WhatsApp contacts.
  • Always call the friend to verify the authenticity of the request.
  • Protect the WhatsApp account by enabling the “Two-step Verification” feature, which is available under “account” in the “settings” tab of the WhatsApp application. This will prevent others from compromising the WhatsApp account.

Any members of the public who wish to provide any information related to such scams can call the police hotline at 1800-2550000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. If you require urgent police assistance, please dial 999.

To seek scam-related advice, the public may call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-7226688 or go to www.scamalert.sg. They can also join the “Let’s Fight Scams” campaign at www.scamalert.sg/fight by signing up as an advocate to receive up-to-date messages and share them with family and friends.

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