At least 10 victims have lost $9,000 to new IRAS impersonation email phishing scam: Police

Victims were notified of refunds from prior overcharging payments, directed to fake IRAS website to divulge bank card details

Screenshots of the email impersonating IRAS
Screenshots of the email impersonating IRAS (Photos: Singapore Police Force)

SINGAPORE — At least 10 victims lost a minimum of $9,000 to a new Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) email phishing scam.

In a media release on Wednesday (20 December), the Singapore Police Force said victims would receive unsolicited emails from scammers posing as IRAS, who would inform them of their eligibility for refunds from prior overcharging of payments.

The victims would then be sent a weblink, which would direct them to a phishing website impersonating the IRAS website. They would then be required to select their preferred refund method via debit or credit card, and later provided their bank card details and One-Time Passwords (OTPs) on the phishing website.

The victims would realise they had been scammed only upon receiving notifications about unauthorised transactions made on their debit or credit cards thereafter.

Precautionary measures

To avoid falling for such scams, police have advised the public not to click on suspicious emails, and to verify the authenticity of claims of problems with their income tax status with the official IRAS website. Personal or banking credentials, as well as OTPs, should never be disclosed to anyone.

The police also encouraged the public to adopt precautionary measures like downloading the ScamShield app, and setting security features such as enabling two-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication for banks.

The public can check for scam signs with official sources – such as the Anti-Scam Helpline (1800-7226688), the Scam Alert website, and the ScamShield WhatsApp bot. Those who have any information on the scams can contact the police hotline (1800-2550000), or submit information on the I-Witness e-service. For urgent police assistance, they may also dial 999.

Screenshots of the website impersonating IRAS (Photos: Singapore Police Force)
Screenshots of the website impersonating IRAS (Photos: Singapore Police Force)

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Yahoo Singapore Telegram
Yahoo Singapore Telegram