All of us have heard the traumatising stories of how many have lost their hard-earned savings to SMS phishing scams last year.
So it’s no wonder that everyone had their guard up high when they received an SMS message from the Central Provident Fund (CPF).
On Friday (22 April), the CPF Board stepped out to clarify that SMS messages sent to their CPF members about the termination of their ElderShield policies are legitimate.
Fear Caused Due To SMS Link
According to The Straits Times, many were concerned that the SMS was a phishing scam as it contained a clickable link.
The link was supposed to lead the SMS recipients to the CareShield website which informs CPF members about CareShield Life.
CareShield Life is the national disability insurance policy that was launched in October 2020 to help those unable to do at least three of the six activities of daily living.
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The six activities of daily living are bathing, dressing, eating, moving from bed to chair, going to the toilet, or moving around.
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CareShield Life is also the successor of the previous ElderShield 300 and 400 policies that was compulsory for all Singaporeans or Permanent Residents born in or after 1980.
Advisory On SMS Clickable Links
The CPF Board has also advised that members of the public can check if the clickable links listed in the SMS ends with “gov.sg”.
This will help them to identify whether or not the link will lead them to the genuine CPF website or another official government website.
This is in line with the Smart Nation Digital Government Group (SNDGG) advisory that government agencies must send links ending with “gov.sg” for easy identification of trusted links.
In the mean time, the SNDGG is also reviewing the practice of government agencies using SMSes and clickable links as a communication method with members of the public.
Infamous Phishing Scams
Aside from receiving a Health Risk warning, the next highly feared notification is probably SMSes with clickable links due to the OCBC SMS phishing incident.
A total of $13.7 million was lost in December 2021 which led to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) mandating that no clickable links should be included in SMSes or e-mails sent by banks to their customers.
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