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Hong Kong credit-card fraud syndicate stole details from Singapore victims: police

FIVE core members of a transnational online credit-card fraud syndicate, believed to be operating from Hong Kong, were arrested this month by the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF).

The syndicate allegedly used credit card details, which were stolen via phishing emails from cardholders in Singapore, to make a series of fraudulent online purchases of electronic products in Hong Kong.

The suspects comprise two foreign men and three Hong Kong women, aged between 26 and 37.

The Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force (SPF), together with HKPF’s Commercial Crime Bureau and Cyber Security Technology Crime Bureau, had conducted a joint probe into the syndicate.

Their investigations found that at least 21 Singaporeans had received emails purportedly from a technology and media service provider to update their payment details. These victims were then redirected to a URL impersonating the service provider’s website where they were deceived into entering their credit card details and one-time passwords.

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The five suspects are believed to be responsible for at least 21 counts of fraudulent purchases of electronic products and other items in Hong Kong amounting to more than HK$270,000 (S$48,000), using these stolen details.

They have been involved in such fraudulent purchases using stolen details from Singapore since April this year, SPF said in a press statement on Tuesday.

In addition, the syndicate is believed to be involved in other fraudulent online transactions amounting to more than HK$1.3 million using stolen credit card information from victims in the US and Europe.

“SPF will continue to collaborate closely with our foreign counterparts to detect and deter such transnational syndicates who attempt to use the anonymity of the Internet to commit serious crimes across territorial boundaries,” said David Chew, director of the Commercial Affairs Department.

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