[SingCERT] New Variant of Technical Support Scams - Scammers claim to investigate cybersecurity issue

Published on 28 Sep 2019

Updated on 27 Nov 2019

SingCERT has received reports that there have been cases whereby members of the public were contacted by call scammers claiming to be investigating a cybersecurity issue. The victims were led to believe that they were talking to a staff of the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) or a government agency that deals with cybersecurity. The scammers would then attempt to trick victims into logging into their Internet banking accounts and transferring money to them.
 
The modus operandi bears similarities to that of scams reported in the Singapore Police Force advisory issued on 18 September 2019.
 
Perpetrators of tech support scams typically explain that they were investigating suspicious activities in the victims’ network. The victims were then asked to install remote desktop access software applications such as AnyDesk, TeamViewer or UltraViewer on their computers, and provide the software access codes to them. The scammers would then use these software applications to access the victims’ computers remotely, and request the victims to log into their Internet banking accounts. When this is done, the scammers would request for a money transfer as a "test". 

CSA would like to remind the public that government agencies will never request access to your Internet banking accounts or ask for transfers of money over the phone. Members of the public who fell for such tech support scams should immediately:
    • Uninstall the applications that you were asked to install by the scammers 
    • Turn off your computer to halt any activities 
    • Report the incident to your bank to halt further activities on your bank accounts 
    • Change the credentials to your online bank accounts and remove any unauthorised payees added 
    • Report the matter to the police 

Meanwhile, members of the public are advised to adopt the following preventive measures:
    • Beware of any unsolicited calls from persons claiming to be a staff of a government agency 
    • Ignore the calls and the callers' instructions 
    • Do not panic and do not follow any instructions to install any applications or to type commands into your computer, as well as to log into your Internet banking accounts  

[Resources]
 
The SPF Advisory is available at:
https://www.police.gov.sg/news-and-publications/media-releases/20190918_OTHERS_New_variant_of_technical_support_scams
 
For more information on scams, you may call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg.
 
For information on good cyber hygiene practices, visit CSA’s Gosafeonline website:
https://www.csa.gov.sg/gosafeonline