Fake SG Bonus SMS Looking to Scam S’poreans; MOF Has Issued an Advisory

Image: Images By Kenny / Shutterstock.com & Facebook (Maurice Han)

Let’s just say that scammers are really in the loop of what’s happening in Singapore (if these scammers are based overseas, that is).

Just about two weeks ago, it was announced that all Singaporeans above 21 years old would be receiving SG Bonus of $100 to $300. People who have registered their mobile number with Singpass will also receive a SMS notification like this:

Most Singaporeans would receive the cash automatically if they have signed up for other government payment schemes in the past, so most of us won’t need to do anything. The amount would just appear in our bank account.

For people who haven’t signed up before (must be those young fellows who just turned 21 lah), they would be informed on how they can sign up: they can only do it online through official channel or through hardcopy forms in CCs or CPF service centres.

The only new element for this SG Bonus is for people who has registered their NRIC with PayNow, a platform that allows customers of nine banks in Singapore to transfer funds easily (Smart Nation, yo). This group of people would receive their SG Bonus earlier (by 30 November 2018).

The official website for SG Bonus is www.singaporebudget.gov.sg/sgbonus

Scam SMS Making Its Rounds

As if on cue, scammers appeared again, this time in a form of SMS. Here, take a look at the fake SMS:

Image: Facebook (Maurice Han)

What’s even scarier is that the “sender” is from a so-called “GOV.SG”, which, for your info, can be spoofed easily with software.

According to reports, the fake SMS would lead to a website like this:

Image: Facebook (Karen Wong)

Scary, considering that it looks pretty legit except for the fact that there’s a glaring typo.

(Article continues below) Xing Xing is a 34-year-old Singaporean lady who decides to meet up with an online friend she found in Facebook. But it turns out that he’s not what he seems to be: Prepare boxes of tissue and watch the saddest Singapore Facebook love story here:

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The Ministry of Singapore has issued an advisory on their Facebook Page:

If you can’t read, here’s what they’ve typed:

About 2.8 million adult Singaporeans will be receiving a one-off SG Bonus by the end of this year. Those who have registered their mobile number with SingPass would have received an SMS notification.

But how can you verify that the SMS was sent by the Government?

1) Sender is ‘SG-Bonus’ or ‘SGBonus’

2) SMS will not ask for information from you

3) URL to view more details/sign up for SG Bonus starts with “https://www.singaporebudget.gov.sg”

4) Your masked NRIC (showing the last 3 numerals and letter) will be in the SMS

Be mindful of any fake texts, emails or calls. To know whether the SMS notification is from the Government, refer to screenshot samples of the SMS below.

And here are the images:

Yet to sign up for SG Bonus (Image: Facebook (Ministry of Finance (Singapore))
Signed up for SG Bonus (Image: Facebook (Ministry of Finance (Singapore))

And as seen in the very first screenshot in the beginning of the article, it should be from SG-Bonus (though remember: that can be spoofed, too).

More “Scary” Scam That We’ve Not Read Online Yet

We’ve mentioned this in our previous article, but seeing that it’s always good to be more careful, here’s a replicate of what we’ve written.

This isn’t reported anywhere (yet), but according to my colleague, it has been happening to him in the last few months.

He has been receiving phishing SMSes from not just banks but even other companies (usually with a link), and the scary part? It addresses to him with his surname (i.e. “Mr <Surname>” or just “Hey <Surname>”) in the SMS.

Here, take a look (we blacked out the surname and URL):

So the moral of the story? Even if it looks and sounds legit, don’t tap (or click) on any link. Call the company if in doubt.

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