June 25, 2024

Email images pretending to be IRAS (Photos: Singapore Police Force)

SINGAPORE — A novel phishing scheme, impersonating the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), led to at least 10 individuals losing not less than $9,000.

On Wednesday (20 December), the Singapore Police Force reported in a media statement that victims were sent unsolicited emails from fraudsters masquerading as IRAS. These emails informed them of their eligibility for refunds owing to prior overpayment.

Victims were then provided a link, redirecting them to a deceptive website that mimics the official IRAS site. The victims were asked to choose their preferred method for refund, via debit or credit card, and later input their bank card details and One-Time Passwords (OTPs) on this fraudulent site.

It was only after receiving notifications of unauthorised transactions on their debit or credit cards that the victims realised that they had fallen prey to the scam.

Safeguards to Implement

The police have recommended several preventative measures to avoid becoming victims of such scams. They have stressed on not clicking on dubious emails and cross-verifying the legitimacy of any concerns raised about their income tax status through the official IRAS website. Personal and banking credentials, not forgetting OTPs, should strictly not be divulged.

The public is also encouraged to incorporate safeguarding measures such as downloading the ScamShield app and activating security features like two-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication for their banking practices.

Official platforms like the Anti-Scam Helpline (1800-7226688), the Scam Alert website and the ScamShield WhatsApp bot can be accessed by the public for possible indicators of a scam. Should anyone possess any information about these scams, they can reach out to the police hotline (1800-2550000), or provide the information on the I-Witness e-service. For immediate police attention, dialing 999 is advised.

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

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

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