My wizened grandmother with both feet in the coffin once told me this:
“Beware of scammers over all else, my grandson, as they’re unlike anything else in the sense that they’re eternal.”
“I think you’re facing your last rites, Grandma,” my eight-year-old mouth spluttered. “Stop mimicking Grandpa and just go on already.”
“Mark my words, my accursed grandson,” she coughed. “Mark my words.”
And with that, I shut the coffin door on my beloved grandma and watched as she passed into the void.
“Sobs, bye Grandma.”
Years on, I’ll never quite get the true interpretation of what my Grandma meant. Lots of questions about where my missing Grandma went, yes, but never about what she said.
“What could she have meant?” I whispered to myself everyday. “What could she have meant?”
I spent years thinking about it, years searching my soul for the all-important answer, but it’s not until I downloaded the Goody Feed app and read the following article that I finally, finally…
WhatsApp Message About Drawing CPF Due to COVID-19 is Fake & the Link Contains a Virus
Amidst the whole Covid-19 dilemma, it appears that one occupation remains firmly in business:
The scam profession.
Now if you recall, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat had announced the Resilience Budget yesterday (26 March 2020), in answer to the economic fallout induced by Covid-19.
Singaporeans above 21 years old will be entitled to a tripled cash payout of up to S$900, and all eligible Self-Employed Personnel will receive S$1,000 a month for nine months.
And naturally, that’s great news considering the circumstances, or plight as some may term it, right now. With the ever-extending reach of the dreaded Covid-19, revenue has taken a steep nosedive, and what better than an enhanced payout to make lives better?
Scammers: Hold our scams
After the announcement came to light, scammers saw their opportunity and they weren’t about to let up on it. According to the Singapore Police Force, they have been taking advantage of the situation to “phish for personal information from victims”, by employing the following steps:
- They would send text messages to potential victims
- Potential victims are directed to websites that supposedly allow them to claim monetary funds from the Resilience Budget
- Rather than the provision of an authentic link, however, supplied links are likely to be phishing sites in disguise, designed to draw personal information such as internet banking login credentials from would-be victims
The Singapore Police Force has since urged the public not to forward the message to others.
Such text messages should be avoided, and the public’s advised not to click on the designated link.
The public’s also advised to stay vigilant in times like these, and they should verify the authenticity of such messages by checking official government sources.
You can contact the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or search www.scamalert.sg for scam-related advice.
Following the Facebook disclosure by SPF, Netizens turned up in droves to air their opinions, as well as general dissent.
Some, for instance, indicated their own scam experiences.
While others added a little tongue-in-cheek to an otherwise dire scenario.
Though one comment, in all honesty, pretty much sums up the entirety of this article:
Covid-19 might be temporary, but scams are eternal.