With the ongoing COVID-19 situation, scams and fake news surrounding the illness have become more prevalent.
Malicious actors have been setting up fraudulent websites and circulating messages to spread fake news and phish for personal and financial information. Some of the schemes appear to offer financial “help”, preying on people who are looking for help out of difficult situations.
Statistics from the US Federal Trade Commission show that as of 21 April 2020, there have been over 12,000 reports of fraud related to COVID-19, with US$18M defrauded in 2020 so far.
Closer to home, scammers have impersonated MOH officers and made off with more than $110,000.
Click here for more examples of COVID-19 misinformation in Singapore.
Here are some ways you can protect yourself:
In particular, those forwarded through text messages, or those asking for personal and financial information. Do not respond to requests for or submit any personal and financial information through these unfamiliar URLs.
Government agencies will transact and communicate with you on COVID-19 matters via .gov.sg websites or other websites that you’ll already be familiar with (e.g. ns.sg).
Trust only websites with URLs belonging to a Government agency or a credible institution (e.g. hospital or credible news agency).
Check moh.gov.sg/covid-19, or call the MOH hotline at 1800-333-9999 to verify if an MOH officer is getting in touch with you about contact tracing.
Always go to official channels to get verified information. For the full list of official COVID-19 resources, click here.