A pop-up alert claims that your device is compromised. Here’s what you should do

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At least 150 Singapore residents fell for technical support scams in the first four months of 2024, police figures reveal

Updated

Jun 09, 2024, 04:00 AM

Published

Jun 09, 2024, 04:00 AM

He thought he was getting help to rid his computer of malicious software.

Instead, the 79-year-old lost $173,000 – more than half his life savings – in just 15 minutes.

On April 17, Mr Tan (not his real name) received an “anti-virus” pop-up alert warning him of malware being detected on his device. Alarmed, he called the “support helpline” displayed on the notification.

Over the next three hours, Mr Tan granted the person on the other end of the call – who claimed to be an officer from the Singapore police cyber-crime department – remote access to his computer.

Believing the call was legitimate, he also handed over login details for his DBS, UOB and OCBC internet banking accounts.

Then the real DBS bank called – to enquire about transactions he made.

It dawned on Mr Tan that he had been speaking with a scammer, who had syphoned $173,000 from his

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