Surge in cases of fraudulent purchases charged to phone bills: Singapore police

(PHOTO: Facebook / Singapore Police Force)

Reported cases of fraudulent purchases being charged to mobile phone bills have more than doubled, said the police on Wednesday (13 December).

There were 130 reported cases of such acts between January and November this year, compared with 59 cases over the same period in 2016, said the police in an advisory notice posted on Facebook.

The total sum cheated to date this year has reached at least $16,000, with more cases continuing to be reported this month. Of the cases, the largest amount cheated on a single bill was $590.

In most instances, the scammers had allegedly contacted victims by sending them Facebook friend requests, with some creating accounts closely resembling that of the victims’ friends.

Once these friend requests were accepted, the scammers would then ask for their victims’ mobile phone numbers, mobile service providers and One Time Password (OTP) or verification codes.

The scammers would then use the information to make online purchases – of gaming credits or digital gift cards – that were subsequently charged to their victims’ mobile phone bills. No information was given by the police on whether any suspects have been arrested in relation to the cases.

The police advise public not to share their personal information with others, as well as to call the Anti-Scam Helpline at 1800-722-6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg when in doubt.

More Singapore stories: