Scammers are out to cheat through seemingly legitimate emails and phone calls – here’s how

Gone are the days when online con-artists claim to be Nigerian princes in desperate need of help and money.

That ruse is so old, it’s become a running joke in many circles.

Instead, they now hide behind seemingly legitimate email addresses from large corporations – including Amazon and Apple, among others – in the hopes of attaining personal information from their victims.

So the next time you get an email from what appears to be a well-known legitimate corporation asking for your personal particulars, be wary.

Here’s an example of a phishing email that I got just last week:

Business Insider/Aqilah Allaudeen

In the last two months, the Singapore Police Force received at least 20 reports of victims who were cheated into revealing their credit card details and personal information after responding to emails that were purportedly sent by Apple or iTunes, reported Channel NewsAsia.

The emails disclosed that their accounts were on hold, and that they needed to follow a series of steps to get their accounts up and running again.

But these victims later realised that unauthorised transactions had been made on their credit cards.

The Singapore Police Force said in a statement to CNA: “Secure websites use ‘https:’ instead of ‘http:’ at the start of the Internet address, or display a closed padlock or unbroken key icon at the bottom right corner of your browser window”.

“Victims should report any fraudulent charges that they detect on their credit card bills to their respective banks”.

But while email scams are almost ubiquitous, it looks like scammers are doing it the old-fashioned way too by trying their luck with victims over the phone.

According to a statement released by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), members of the public have received calls from scammers posing as ICA officers.

These scammers would ask recipients to provide personal information, like passport numbers and bank account details, and/or transfer money in relation to cases or investigations which they were allegedly involved in.

So if you do come anything that you suspect to be the work of a scammer, never reveal your personal particulars or transfer any money. Instead, contact the police or seek scam related advice online.