SG cops arrest five members of a syndicate for alleged involvement in WhatsApp scam


In one variant of the scam, syndicate members will pretend to be friends and relatives of the genuine user of the WhatsApp account and request for online gift cards. — Bloomberg

SINGAPORE: Five people were arrested for their suspected involvement in a scam involving the takeover of WhatsApp accounts.

Criminal Investigation Department officers arrested four men – aged between 27 and 37 – and a 34-year-old woman during an operation conducted on Nov 29 and 30, said police on Friday (Dec 3).

Three of the men are also being investigated over drug-related offences.

“During the operation, an array of mobile phones, a laptop, tablets, bank cards, substances believed to be controlled drugs and drug-related paraphernalia were seized,” the police added.

Syndicates operating such scams work to steal the six-digit verification code. They then use it to lock out the genuine user of the WhatsApp account.

In one variant of the scam, syndicate members will pretend to be friends and relatives of the genuine user of the WhatsApp account and request for online gift cards.

Police said one of the men arrested – a 37-year-old – was charged on Dec 1 with unauthorised access to computer material. He has been remanded for further investigations.

Investigations against the other four suspects are ongoing.

The police said first-time offenders convicted of knowingly causing a computer to perform any function for the purpose of securing access without authority to any program or data held in any computer may be jailed for up to two years, fined up to S$5,000 (RM15,431), or both.

Those who reoffend may be jailed for up to three years, fined up to S$10,000 (RM30,862), or both, if found guilty.

Police on Friday also gave some tips so users can protect their WhatsApp accounts:

• Do not share the WhatsApp account verification codes with anyone.

• Be wary of unusual requests received over WhatsApp, even if sent by WhatsApp contacts.

• Protect the WhatsApp account by enabling the “Two-Step Verification” feature, which is accessed via the settings function.

• Change the voicemail account’s default personal identification number to avoid easy access by scammers, or deactivating the feature if you have no use for it. – The Straits Times (Singapore)/Asia News Network

Article type: free
User access status:
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In Tech News

EU antitrust decision on Nvidia's Arm deal set for May 25
Logitech CEO expects semiconductor shortage to continue in 2022
Google offers new replacement for advertising cookies after 'FLoC' falls short
JPMorgan agrees to acquire 49% stake in Greek fintech Viva Wallet
Cybertrucks, new factories in focus as Tesla set to report record earnings
Nvidia preparing to walk away from Arm acquisition - Bloomberg News
Toyota to produce record 11 million cars in fiscal 2022 if chip supply stable - Nikkei
Temasek buys Bridgepoint's Element Materials in $7 billion deal
Volkswagen and Bosch team up on automated driving software
‘Crypto winter’ fears send chills to battered bitcoin faithful

Others Also Read


Vouchers