HR alert: Email scams on the rise in Singapore

Police say that a bulk of victims are companies that have overseas dealings and primarily use email to communicate

HR alert: Email scams on the rise in Singapore
Authorities are warning businesses about email impersonation scams, saying that victims have already lost $19 million from January to September of this year.

According to police reports, 165 cases have already been reported in that time, a 20% rise from last year within the same time period.

Moreover, they found that it usually involved businesses with overseas dealings who primarily use email to communicate.

“Scammers first hack into either the victim’s or victim’s business partner’s email accounts,” they said in a statement to Channel News Asia. 

“They will obtain information from emails and impersonate someone whom the victim has dealings with, such as a business partner. They then create spoofed email accounts to communicate with the victim and ask for money.”

They further warned that these spoofed accounts “look very much like the genuine email address”.

While they said they are working with foreign counterparts on the issue, they said that successfully recovering lost money is rare.

To avoid becoming a victim of this scam, police said businesses “should be mindful of sudden changes with [their] business partners or creditors’ payment instructions and accounts”.

When in doubt, they further advised businesses to:

1)    Verify changes in bank account details over the phone;
2)    Use previous phone numbers as numbers within the email might already be compromised;
3)    Educate employees about these scams, particularly those responsible for making fund transfers.  

Related stories:

How should companies deal with data security when they have a BYOD policy?

Workers suffering ‘anticipatory stress’ from emails 

Employers warned of data hoarding among IT staff

Free newsletter

Our daily newsletter is FREE and keeps you up-to-date with the world of HR. Please complete the form below and click on subscribe for daily newsletters from HRD Asia.

Recent articles & video

HR lacks critical leadership support to transform

Manila’s IT talent to tackle Industry 4.0 challenges

Google workers and investors join forces at shareholder meeting

What is the future of HR tech?

Most Read Articles

How HR can support working dads

Many jobs remain unfilled in Singapore: MOM

Why diversity and inclusion policies are failing