SINGAPORE — A phishing scam using a fake QR code that resembles the Municipal Services Office (MSO)'s QR code was discovered by Bukit Batok's Residents' Committees.
The OneService Lite QR code, when scanned, links to the OneService website, where users can submit feedback or complaints on municipal issues via one portal, instead of contacting various government agencies or town councils.
The fake QR code was found on posters put up in lift lobbies of some HDB blocks at West Terra and West Edge in Bukit Batok.
When scanned, the fake code takes users to a website with a feedback form, where they are to fill in personal information such as their name, e-mail address, contact number and residential address.
They were discovered by West Edge Residents' Committees on Thursday (Jan 19) and immediately taken down.
MSO said that it has since alerted all town councils, which are now checking OSLite QR codes put up in their towns.
A police report was also filed. The fraudulent website has been taken down and replaced by an advisory indicating that it is a suspected scam website.
Responding to queries from The Straits Times, MSO said it had received three reports about the fake codes.
MSO added that it is assisting the police in their investigations, and will continue to work with the town councils to monitor the estates for any fraudulent activities.
The police confirmed that reports were lodged and that they are looking into the matter.
Members of the public who have any information related this scam may submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness
If there is any suspicion that a QR code or link claiming to be from OneService is a phishing attempt, the public may e-mail email@example.com.
MSO urges members of the public to remain vigilant when accessing websites, and to always check if the website address is legitimate before submitting personal details.
It reminded the public that QR codes and links associated with OneService channels always lead to websites with domains on ‘gov.sg’ (for example, https://www.oneservice.gov.sg, and https://www.life.gov.sg/app).
Earlier this week, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Singapore Police Force and the National Crime Prevention Council held an anti-scam seminar called Scaminar! ACT Against Scams to raise awareness of the growing number of scams and how to act against them.
The seminar, held in partnership with The Straits Times, offered tips on how to avoid becoming victims of scams.
One of them is to ACT — add, check, tell — to safeguard themselves against scams.
Individuals should set up security features such as the ScamShield phone app, which filters messages and phone calls from numbers used in illegal activities, and two-factor authentication for personal accounts.
Bank account holders should set transaction limits for Internet banking, which can stem the amount of money that scammers can steal.
To check for potential signs of a scam, ask questions, fact-check requests for personal information and money transfers, and verify the legitimacy of online listings and reviews. Take the time to pause and check. If an offer is too good to be true, it is probably a scam.
Scam encounters should be reported to the affected bank, ScamShield, or by filing a police report. Others should be warned about ongoing scams and told preventive steps they can take.
For more information on scams, visit www.scamalert.sg or call the anti-scam hotline on 1800-722-6688.