SINGAPORE: Eight people, aged 16 to 28, were charged in court on Friday (June 24) over their suspected involvement in DBS phishing scams where more than 60 people lost over S$60,000.
Their alleged offences include disclosing their Singpass details in exchange for money and opening accounts by duping banks.
Six of the suspects are Muhammad Fariz Zulhelmi Rizal, 22, Amani Oliveira, 24, Muhammed Farhaan Syaqir Kamis, 20, Shahrul Rezal Mawi, 24, Iskandar Malik, 27, and Nur Farhanah Samsuri, 18.
The other two suspects, both Singaporeans aged 16 and 17, cannot be named as they are under 18 years of age and are covered under the Children and Young Persons Act.
Five of them – Muhammad Fariz, Muhammed Farhaan, Iskandar Malik, Nur Farhanah and the 17-year-old – had given their Singpass details to unknown people for up to S$1,500.
The police said in a statement on Thursday that the Singpass details were used by criminals to open bank accounts and launder criminal proceeds from the DBS phishing scams.
The scam saw victims receive unsolicited SMS messages from senders with names like "SG-DBS" or "DBS-Notice", stating that their ATM cards had been blocked due to unusual activities, or that their bank accounts had been frozen due to suspicious activities.
The SMS then directed victims to sign in and verify their identity via an embedded link which actually led to a spoofed Internet banking login page.
Victims would be asked to key in their login and bank card details as well as one-time password, which allowed the scammers to access their accounts and drain their funds.
"Some of (the five who gave their Singpass details) did not receive any monetary benefits as the recipients of their credentials turned evasive after successfully opening the bank accounts," the police said.
The 16-year-old who cannot be named allegedly opened an account with UOB and deceived the bank into thinking she was the sole user.
Oliveira is said to have instigated a person named Iffah Natasha Mawito commit a similar offence of cheating UOB.
Three men – Muhammad Fariz, Shahrul Rezal and Iskandar Mali – each face an additional charge of obstructing the course of justice.
Muhammad Fariz had falsely informed police that he had given his Singpass details to an unknown person over mobile app Telegram for the purpose of a car loan. Court documents state that Shahrul Rezal had caused Muhammad Fariz to do so.
Iskandar Malik allegedly deleted WhatsApp chat records which contained information relating to his disclosure of Singpass details. He is said to have done so while on remission order.
The police said: "To avoid being involved in scam activities, members of the public should always reject seemingly attractive money making opportunities promising pay outs for the use of their Singpass account, bank account or mobile lines."
Individuals will be held accountable if they are found to be linked to such crimes, they added.
If found guilty of disclosing Singpass details for wrongful gain, an offender can be fined up to S$10,000 and jailed for up to three years.
The offence of duping banks into opening bank accounts carries a maximum penalty of a three-year jail term and a fine. – The Straits Times (Singapore)/Asia News Network
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