sb-as logo
Story image

Singapore WhatsApp users urged to watch out for phishing scams

20 Apr 2018

The Singapore Police Force is warning citizens who use the popular messaging app WhatsApp to be vigilant, after reports of scammers taking over compromised accounts.

According to an advisory, the scam is a variant of a scam widely reported overseas. Scammers gain access to a compromised account and then send messages to the account’s contacts.

The messages request WhatsApp account verification codes, which are usually sent by SMS to a recipient.

Those victims who gave the scammers access to the verification codes would then be locked out of their own account and lose access.

Scammers use the compromised accounts and their contacts to trick people into buying gift cards, and then sending over the password for those cards. The scammers then sell the cards online.

ESET APAC technical sales manager Sim Beng Hai says WhatsApp is a popular application in Singapore, associated with friends, family, and colleagues.

Scammers are now abusing this trust to gain access to personal details, conversations, photographs, and contacts.

Those affected by the scam can call the Singapore Police Hotline or contact the National Crime Prevention Council’s anti-scam helpline on 1800-722-6688.

Sim Beng Hai offers some tips to avoid phishing attacks via text or WhatsApp:

- If you have the slightest doubt about the authenticity of any text, always check.  If you receive a suspicious text from a friend, message that friend on a separate messaging tool, or call them, to check. Do not reply to that text, as this informs the scammer that you’re a “warm lead”.

- Note shortened URLs – Scammers often mask ‘fake’ sites using URL shortening services like Bitly or TinyURL. Users should be wary of such shortened links as common sites like Apple, Spotify or Netflix typically do not shorten their links as it raises user suspicion.  

- Make a habit of creating strong passwords to all social media applications and other applications on your mobile. Simple passwords can be easily cracked by seasoned hackers, and if you repeat them across applications, hacking just one application gives them access to all.  Better yet, use a reliable password manager which can set and remember defyingly long and complex passwords for you

- Enable multifactor (or two-factor) authentication for all services that provide it as an option and consider not using important services that do not offer this critical security option. Users can enable two-step verification for WhatsApp under Account > Two-step verification. This feature will require a PIN when registering your phone number with WhatsApp again.

Story image
WatchGuard uncovers top cyber threat trends of Q4 2020
“The rise in sophisticated, evasive threat tactics last quarter and throughout 2020 showcases how vital it is to implement layered, end-to-end security protections."More
Story image
Combine endpoint privilege management with these tools for maximum protection
By integrating an EPM solution with additional technologies, teams can manage the entire security tool stack more easily and enhance each component’s effectiveness.More
Story image
Need for greater understanding of data security responsibility as cloud adoption grows - report
Despite the accelerated adoption of cloud services, there was a lack of clarity and confidence regarding the protection and recovery of data stored in public clouds.More
Link image
Virtual demo: Diagnose network cabling problems with the LinkIQ Cable+Network Tester
If you’re finding it difficult to install access points and cabling, or if you can’t pinpoint an issue with a video camera or end user, the LinkIQ Cable+Network Tester could be exactly what you need. Try a free, fully interactive demo now.More
Story image
Pandemic sees organisations of all sizes and industries invest in CTI
There is opportunity for organisations to better manage their cyber-threat intelligence for greater security and threat intelligence effectiveness by adopting the right tools and processes.More
Story image
Kroll completes Redscan acquisition, expands cyber risk portfolio
With the addition of Redscan and its extended detection and response (XDR) enabled security operations centre (SOC) platform, Kroll expands its Kroll Responder capabilities to support a wider array of cloud and on-premise telemetry sources.More