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Singapore police warns of fake PayPal invoice scam, 1 victim lost $33,000

·Senior Reporter
·2-min read
A sample of the fake PayPal invoice sent to victims. (PHOTO: Singapore Police Force)
A sample of the fake PayPal invoice sent to victims. (PHOTO: Singapore Police Force)

SINGAPORE — Scammers are now impersonating online payment system PayPal to gain access to and steal money from bank accounts, with at least four victims having fallen prey to the scheme, the Singapore Police Force said in a new advisory.

One of the victims lost around $33,000 to this new form of technical support scam, the police added in the Wednesday (18 May) advisory.

The scheme involves individuals receiving emails with sham PayPal invoices that contain details of unauthorised transactions for goods and services from third-party vendors.

Victims seeking to dispute the transactions and get a refund would call the helpline number listed on the invoice. Victims would then come into contact with a scammer impersonating the third-party vendor, who would pretend to assist the victims with the disputed transactions.

These “agents” would then instruct victims to download a software on their computers to cancel the disputed transactions. However, the software actually allows scammers to remotely control the unwitting victim’s computer.

Scammers would then instruct victims to log into their bank accounts via their computers. When the victim does so, the scammers would take control of the victims’ computers remotely and transfer all their funds out of the bank account.

What can scam victims do?

Apart from reporting the matter to the police, victims are advised to turn off their computer should they encounter such a scam, so as to stop further unwanted activities on their device. Victims are also advised to report the incident to their bank to stop unauthorised access to their bank account.

Victims should also change their iBanking credentials and remove unauthorised payees added to their bank account.

The police said that individuals should always be aware of unsolicited emails from dubious parties, and avoid clicking on links from these emails, which may be fake. Suspicious emails from PayPal can be forwarded for verification to phishing@paypal.com.

The police also warned individuals against providing confidential details, including bank account or credit card details, to callers requesting such information.

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