SINGAPORE: A 39-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly using fraudulent QR codes to obtain personal particulars of his victims.
The police and Municipal Services Office (MSO) said on Feb 3 that between December 2022 and January 2023, they received reports of the QR codes that were put up at lift lobbies around Bukit Batok Estate.
Through follow-up investigations, officers from Jurong Police Division established the identity of the man and arrested him on Jan 26. The man is believed to be involved in multiple similar cases islandwide.
The QR codes, which were masquerading as OneService (OS) Lite QR code, have since been taken down as well as the website it was linked to.
The OneService App is a one-stop service which lets residents provide feedback on municipal issues across various government agencies.
The MSO has since alerted all town councils to the incident, which have performed the necessary checks on OS Lite QR codes in their towns.
Police investigations are ongoing.
If found guilty of illegally obtaining personal information, the man can be jailed up to three years, fined up to S$10,000, or both.
The police and MSO urged the public to be vigilant when accessing websites and to always check the authenticity of the website before providing personal details.
They said: “QR codes and links associated with OneService always lead to websites on the “gov.sg” domain (in this case, www.oneservice.gov.sg). All OneService feedback channels, including OS Lite, are also designed to work without feedback providers having to provide any personally identifiable information.
“OS Lite users who want to be updated about their cases need only provide their mobile number (which MSO will verify via a one-time password), and how they would like to be addressed. It is not necessary to provide a full name. Lastly, genuine OS Lite QR codes are A4-sized and printed on wall-mounted, hard acrylic board (they are not stickers).” – The Straits Times (Singapore)/Asia News Network