Protect yourself from scammers…

Scammers today are smarter and savvier, and I had a first hand experience yesterday and mentioned it on a note in Facebook last evening.

While I was targeted, I was thankfully not a victim. But I can imagine people falling prey to this new scam that’s so new that when I called my telco to verify, they weren’t even aware of it.

Essentially, there are unscrupulous scammers out there who are trying to obtain your private information by posing as your telco – contacting you via SMSes and calls, with even a rather sophisticated voice recording system in place that allows you to select your preferred language and so on.

Because it vaguely states that the matter is regarding your account, and for you to pick up the message so you should call them back or conveniently SMS them your NRIC, I think some people may easily fall prey if they’re multi-tasking and busy with matters on hand so they don’t give it a clear thought.

I personally contacted my telco for verification and from internal system checks, they shared that no one from the company had contacted me. If they had, it’d be logged in their internal system.

So please be really careful. Scammers these days have become more sophisticated and advanced, and God knows what they’d do if/when they have your info. As cliche as it is, it truly is better to be safe than sorry.

Here’s the note I shared on Facebook yesterday:

New scam in Singapore – my firsthand experience just TODAY 😦

by MagicBabe Ning on Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 6:01pm

Friends in Singapore, please take note of a new (and might I add, rather clever) scam that’s going around.

I personally experienced this firsthand so I’m writing to share with everyone about this – do spread the word, least the people you care about fall prey! I was lucky not to fall for it and wasn’t hurt in any way but I was targeted, perhaps by random… So please spread the word.

Several times today, I received calls from a landline +65 6309 9052 which I missed… and subsequently, SMSes from mobile phone numbers +65 8478 1003 and +65 8478 1004 all with the same text message:

Dear customer, StarHub has a message for you regarding your account. Please call 63099052 or reply your NRIC Number via SMS to retrieve your message. Thank you.

I was busy in meetings, so I was nearly tempted to simply key in my NRIC and hit the send SMS button since it seemed so convenient… but something didn’t feel right so I ignored the SMSes.

However, back in the office, the mysterious landline (+65 6309 9052) called me again and since I missed the earlier call, I picked up. Instead of a customer service rep from the telco on the other line, I was surprised to be greeted by a voice recording instead, guiding me to press 1 for English, press 2 for Chinese, etc… And after selecting the language, the system mentioned the same exact message as the SMSes did, that Starhub had a message regarding my account so to proceed I had to key in my NRIC number.

That’s when I hung up.

Several things didn’t seem right. My bills are always paid on time, so it was strange to be contacted this way for any matters and most importantly… If it was from my telco, it would have reflected accordingly – from the featured screen numbers of the text messages and calls, as well as, during the voice mail guide through. The voice mail recording sounded professional, I’d give them that… but it just was not in line with what I’d heard and recalled when I’d called Starhub’s 1633 before for previous matters.

So I followed logic and called Starhub’s 1633, patiently waiting almost half an hour before one of their reps finally picked up my call. She immediately spoke to her supervisor and came back to me that after doing their internal checks, they had absolutely no record whatsoever that anyone from Starhub had contacted me today at the specific times I mentioned. It just didn’t show up in their system log.

It seems like a new scam, since the telco wasn’t even aware of it until just. And I truly hope people will be savvy enough to not fall for such despicable trickery. The people behind this scam are obviously up to no good and once such sensitive information is in their hands, who knows what they’d use it for.

Take care and do spread this message.

Cheers,

Ning

Spread the word you guys… and keep safe. Hugs!!!!

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Protect yourself from scammers…

  1. Yvonne

    Thanks for your post cos I received a call from the same number and I googled and got to this post!

  2. Max

    From Greenbook:

    Company Listings

    Lion Telecom Pte Ltd (Up Paya Lebar)

    Address: 73 Up Paya Lebar Rd #05-01 S(534818)
    Tel No: 63099052
    Fax No:
    Email:
    Website:

    I got the call today. Hung up when they asked for IC No.

  3. Hi,

    Thks for sharing ur experience cos i jz gt d same calls twice frm d same number n a sms after dat.

    Actually am quite surprised dat six mths later frm ur posting, d scammers r stil active n even tho u hve reported to Starhub, nothng has been done to stop them.

  4. Anonymous

    It’s from Starhub.

    Great example of paranoia overriding the good sense to at least Google the number and check if it is indeed Starhub’s.

    http://www.starhub.com/support/general/billingenquiries/billpaymentreminder.html

    • ning

      Nope, a call was made to Starhub itself and the staff confirmed it’s not from the company. The link you provided is unrelated 🙂

  5. RR

    I got a call today, same prompt as mentioned above : press 1 for english, 1 for starhub customer, enter your 7-digit fin no. I didnt hang up & i hold for a while, then automated system repeats the message few time & finally replied with “You have exceeded the maximum no of try” pls call 64074848 for assistance!

    Wat these people are trying to do???

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