Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tagged & Facebook Credit Card Scam Alert - Miyo Minako

Tagged has always been known as a social networking site that scammers favour, due to various reasons (We will write an article to summarize it in future when time allows). There is recently a new trend to combine the use of Tagged and Facebook to create a fake impression to others that the fake accounts are real.

Scammers use Tagged to recruit more friends while inviting the victims-to-be to their fake Facebook accounts.

"Miyo Minako"

Tagline: hello im miyo minako u can also add me on my facebook so we can chat me there miyo minako or miyo thanks actually i dont have msn

One of her Statuses: "Goodnight GUys... and sweet,wet dreams... just add me in fb same name thanks.."

This is the Tagged account of the "sweet-looking" girl who claims to be living in Singapore. Most Singapore residents would have used MSN. Most normal sweet and hot looking girls would not resort to dirty chats online, mentioning words like "wet dreams". (changed url)

Let us explore her Facebook account.

"u want to see me and watch me while naked again get my weblink now if u want
im horny and wet now"

She has been typing similar statuses in Facebook, telling people that she is horny and asking them to get her "weblink" from her. If she is serious about giving people her "weblink" for free, why not just post the link in her status?

For those who are not aware of her messages still, she is simply a "cam girl". There are many websites in the internet that employ girls to show her bodies and follow the exact commands of horny visitors who are willing to pay. This "Miyo Minako" seems exactly like one, but with a deeper plot.

She is pretty neat for she (or he?) always makes sure she deletes the previous status before posting a new one.

She has uploaded a few albums, which makes the account more "real" than other fake profiles you can see in Facebook. One of the pictures shows that "she" is from ITE. We are not able to confirm if the photos are stolen, though it is highly possible. Anyway, this scammer has made quite a lot of effort in maintaining the Facebook profile, and has even switched to Facebook Timeline by "herself".

As we scrolling down her Facebook page, we can see that there are a few people who have posted on her Facebook wall - just a few pathetic ones though.

Lee Zhen

"hey baby can i have your link now so that i can see you again im horny baby i want to cum now.btw my card not charged thanks for telling me the truth make me happy again"

Let us explore his profile.

Judging from the photo, "he" looks more like a China man than a Singaporean. Anyway, he has only a friend - Miyo Minako.

Is he a loser or has he created the profile specially for her?

If he is just a normal pervert out in the net, he would have added many other hot girls in Facebook.

Next, we have "Weng Yan"

"hi babe im already online now can i have your link again i want to have fun now with you i want to see your hot body again babe plss send me the link again babe im not scared bcoz im not charged plss let have fun im horny babe"

Our wonderful fan of Miyo Minoko sounds similar to other fans of hers "Lee Zhen", who types without commas, full-stops, and sounds equally desperate in the exact same tune.

However, do not forget about the most important message "im not scared bcoz im not charged".

Weng Yan's profile.

Similar to Lee Zhen, Weng Yan is a loner and loser.

Needless to say, this is a fake account specially created to let Miko Minako's "fans" think that the credit card information given is safe.

Lastly, we have "Shin T Akatzki".

"hi babe thanks for the last night
can u give me your weblink again im horny now thanks for telling the truth
i go to my bank card and im not charge thanks can we have fun again now babe"

This is actually the first "Facebook user" who has posted on Miyo Minako's Facebook wall.

The difference between him and the other two "fans" is that he has separated his messages into sentences instead of simply typing straight like machine gun.

Similarly, his tune is the same and he has mentioned about "bank card not charged".

Exploring Shin T Akatzki's profile.

He has more friends than the other two - pathetic 102 though.

We strongly believe that this is the first "supporting profile" created to tell "fans" of Mino Minako to approach her to ask her for her weblink and give her their credit card information.

Thereafter, the scammer or the group of scammers who has staged this scam is simply too lazy to work on the other two profiles - to add friends or provide a bit more fake information.

Pardon us for being too "kia si" (scare to die) and not trying out her weblink. But we can assure you that after entering the weblink, you will be prompted to register an account and you have to provide your credit card information.

There are two ways for the scammer to make money, which we cannot confirm.

1. The weblink is a real cam-girls website, which the girls will strip virtually for you and do your commands. The scammer will earn commission from the web owner for making you sign up. He/she may be paid by per sign-up or a percentage of credits the victim (you?) purchases, or both.

2. Entering your credit card detail is an immediate scam. The scammer can use your information to purchase items online immediately.

Who knows... by visiting the URL she gives you, your computer or Facebook account will be hacked?

Maybe, there are more methods for the scammer to make money out of your credit card information. No matter what, you are at a loss for being fooled, thinking that you have made a real hot friend.

Let us look at two conversations with her.

December 20, 2011 
Miyo Minako
(A babe initiating chat with you? Excited?)
Miyo Minako
how are u 
not bad
Miyo Minako
im fine but a lil bit horny and bored..  
(A babe tells you directly that she's horny?! Money is dropping from heaven...)
Miyo Minako
where are you working at? 
Miyo Minako
jurong point\  
(Sounds like she knows Singapore. Initially, her profile shows something like "sales girl")
i see
you sound weird 
Miyo Minako
what u doin now 
Miyo Minako
nothing im alone and also bored in my room just chill and a kinda horny a lil bit..  
(Again? Need to be so direct?)
what are you going to do? 
Miyo Minako
so do u wanna try to see me tonight?  
(Even more direct, sounds like Geylang)
i think we stay quite far away
(She gives up... on a guy "without sex drive")

January 7 
Miyo Minako
(Babe messaging you again? In lady's luck?)
Miyo Minako
how are u 
Miyo Minako
same here 
Miyo Minako
what u doin now? 
working? or probably taking a break
how about you? 
Miyo Minako
nothing much just lying in my bed a lil bit bored alone at home.. chat with u  
(A little hint again...)
sure a not?
i thought you always chat with many guys
which country are you from? 
Miyo Minako
korea my original place 
what do you work as? 
Miyo Minako
(I thought you are working at Jurong Point?)
Miyo Minako
then doing what? 
Miyo Minako
working .. just read my wall status to know..  
(She means her "weblink" stuff)
Miyo Minako
how old are you? 
Miyo Minako
im 19 
19 and working as cam girl in singapore? 
Miyo Minako
just part time but no need money in cam girl 
no need money? 
Miyo Minako
how come?
you work for free? 
Miyo Minako
(Working in sexual industrial for free? YES, I "BELIEVE".)
lol. why would anyone want to work for free? 
Miyo Minako
Miyo Minako
why u are alot of question? 
lol. nothing 
(She gives up again ever after)

She has recently changed her name to "Natalia Miyo Minako", adding the "Natalia" in front.

14th February 2013: We realise her Facebook URL has been changed to even though Facebook does not allow changing of the username.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bogus Property Agent Taken By Laws

Recently, a 45-year-old man, Tan Cher Peng, has been sentenced to four months' jail and fined S$32,000 for representing himself as a property agent without being registered with the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA). He is the first person to be sentenced under such laws.

All property (real estate) agents have to be registered in Singapore. This is to ensure that all property agents are being monitored and are subjected to terms and conditions to protect consumers in the market. All property agents have to pass certain test(s) and not have criminal records in order to obtain the license from CEA, which also lift up the standard of the agents in Singapore, not allowing any Tom, Dick or Harry to handle customers without proper knowledge.

Currently, all property agents have to wear a lanyard with his identification card provided by his company at all time while at work. The card will also indicate his CEA registered number.

If you find anything amiss with the property agent, you can always call CEA to check on him. CEA will also help to investigate if the agent displays dishonesty.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Second Round of DBS / POSB ATM Card Skimming Fraud

DBS / POSB bank's ATM was hit by a second round of fraud last Sunday night, resulting S$23,000 stolen from 17 accounts. All affected customers were fully compensated within 24 hours. Unlike the previous time, the fraudster had withdrawn the money in Singapore instead of Malaysia.

The bank was quick enough to identify other potential victims among their customers and deactivated their ATM cards. Some customers were angered by the procedure of the bank, which was done without prior notice. It was, of course, done in order to reduce the lost of money.

DBS / POSB bank urges customers to keep the bank updated of their current contact number in order to receive real-time SMS alerts from the bank. The bank has also stated that customers can choose to lower their daily ATM cash withdrawal limit at any branch. Lastly, the bank also encourages customers to change their PINs regularly.

This repeated incident has dealt damages to the bank's reputation even greater, as some people call it "humiliation".

Since the bank has again fully compensated all affected customers, it shows their willingness to solve any similar incident in future, which will retain the trust of most customers. This means that the bank will be absorbing all damages.

However, comments from netizens at Yahoo! News were mostly negative. Some of them are demanding the CEO to step down like the ex COE of SMRT - Ms Saw.

There is also an interesting comment - "Looks like Biscuit Tins are more secure than banks".

"What about those who don't check their account balances? If they hadn't realised the loss of money, does it mean then it's gone?" - if anyone happens to know the answer to one of the commenters, do inform us.

We believe that the Singapore bank will improve its security to fight against future card skimming operation.

There should be security CCTVs at all ATMs and we hope the bank would be able to identify the fraudsters.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Facebook Scam - McDonald's Voucher

This is the latest scam in Facebook. A Facebook event is created by a Facebook page, stating that McDonald's is giving away free vouchers. You have to invite your friends to the event in order to qualify for the voucher.

Facebook event doesn't track how many friends you have invited!

How is it that they know that you have invited 50 or 500 friends to get the $20 or $150 voucher?

This is a scam just to get people to invite more people to their scam website.

There is no free McVoucher!

Facebook Scam McDonald's Voucher Event (deleted)
From the Facebook event:
Celebrating a whopping $50 billion revenue in 2011, McDonalds has decided to give away Free Vouchers to our loyal customers.

How does this work? Follow these steps :

Step 1 : Click on "Join" at the top of the page.
... ...
Step 2 : Click " Invite Friends" at the top of the page and select your friends and click SUBMIT. Voucher Price depends upon amount of friends you invite.

Invite 50 Friends = $20 Voucher
Invite 100 Friends = $50 Voucher
Invite 200 Friends = $100 Voucher
Invite 500 Friends = $150 Voucher

[NOTE : To select friends faster, press TAB and SPACE repeatedly.]

Step 3 : < Go here after completing above two steps to get your voucher. McVoucher

Facebook Scam McDonald's Voucher Page - GiftsM

From Facebook users on the Facebook Page:
Adam Talley: I love how people are falling for this McScam thing that everyone is sending each other. please people don't fall for this voucher thing. you have to buy stuff just do get it (if it even exists) along with giving away all your personal info. name, email, home mail, home phone, ect... then right on the page and in the TOC it stats they can sell this info to 3rd party company's, and even more company's there affiliated with. who knows how many company's that are buying up your info 100, 1000, or even more... ever wonder why your email address receives tons of spam mail, why your phone rings off the hook with 1800 bs numbers, surveys, subscription offers ect, even when your unlisted, and those stupid your a winner, and other crap you get it the mailbox? this is how! so please be smart and stay away from this stuff. #RealTalk

Candice Wood-Dubois: This is BS!!!!! I sent invitations to all of my friends 300+ went to get my voucher & couldn't get it! The site wanted me to particiapte in surveys & apply for credit cards! GRRRRRRRRR!!!!

Please help to report the scam to Facebook by going to the Facebook event (deleted) and Facebook page, on the left column and click on "Report" and report them as "Spam or scam".

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

DBS / POSB ATM Card Fraud Security Improvements

It has been more than a month since the DBS/POSB ATM card fraud has occured in Singapore (or rather, in Malaysia) and some security features have long been implemented.

The bank has returned all the affected customers' money in full to reduce the lost of trust. We have heard that not all banks, except banks in Singapore, would have done the same.

What DBS/POSB has lost is their reputation and a small portion of customers who are wary of the same incident happening again, but the tide will be over soon. Banks in Singapore are much more secured than banks in many other countries because of Singapore government's strong financial backup. The fact that most Singapore residents own a DBS/POSB bank account each makes the bank strong for it is easier for money transaction between the accounts; besides, many Singapore residents depend on the GIRO payment service.

The bank was quick to analyse the victims' records of their interaction with ATM machines, scaled down the search and discovered issues with two ATM machines in Bugis that had been tampered with. The company did not announce the exact ATM machines even though they had fixed the problem. Two Malaysians were also caught by Singapore police force for possession of devices that could read and steal ATM card information.

DBS/POSB has claimed that the most important security feature that would jerk the ATM card to prevent external device from reading the card when inserting into the ATM machine would slow down the process; and thus, the bank did not activate the feature in all ATM machines. Instead, they have deployed other security features, such as the CCTV.

A major security feature being implemented after the card fraud incident is the suspension of overseas withdrawal. If you try to withdraw money using your DBS/POSB ATM card at overseas, you have to call the bank to activate it. As told by an affected customer, the activation would only allow a single transaction; thereafter, the ATM card holder has to call the bank again to activate it. If you try withdrawing money three times without activating it, your bank account will be suspended.

This is a good security feature for DBS/POSB customers who do not travel out of Singapore but the smaller portion of customers would have to bear with it.

All banks in Singapore are looking at improving the ATM cards and replacement would probably be made within two years.

Meanwhile, customers should try to help the bank and themselves by observing if the ATM machines are being tampered. This is difficult since very few people are experts in the ATM's design. Customers can also change their PINs regularly, which most people would not do for they are glad enough to remember their existing numbers. However, there is one last thing that a responsible customer should do - cover the number pad and fingers when he/she is keying the PINs. Many Singaporeans would have skipped that as they are afraid of "losing face" (embarrassment) for being "kia si" (afraid to die), but nothing beats securing the PINs so that money would not be lost.

Everyone should start the ball rolling by covering their fingers with the other hand when keying their ATM PINs. Let this be a norm and not something that people should feel embarrassed for doing.

Thanks Eve Lim for the contribution.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mixed Vegetable Rice Scam in Singapore

Mixed vegetable rice is a common Chinese food in Singapore. You can find stalls selling them in coffee shops, hawker centres and foodcourts.

It has become a norm for mixed vegetable rice stalls to come out with dishes that consist of mixtures of vegetable and meat. However, we are not sure if they are doing it on purpose or not, some "meats" are well hidden inside the "vegetable", such as eggs.

If you pick a dish of meat, it is definitely more costly than a dish of vegetable. Two or three dishes of meat would definitely explode your budget. Therefore, some people may consider "disguising" of meat in vegetable as scam.

In most of the stalls, dishes are being lay all over without being classified. After picking the dishes that you want, the staff will then calculate the final price. You will definitely be shocked if the person is asking you for the payment of three dishes of meat instead of two vegetable and one meat.

"What a scam! My lunch cost me freaking $7.20. Lesson learnt! Never eat vegetable rice at food republic."

The picture above was taken at a Food Republic foodcourt in Orchard.

The owner of the photo ordered three dishes in total. The vegetable on the left, the 5 prawns with vegetable on the right, and the egg (supposed to be counted as vegetable) on the top. She thought she would be paying for the price of two dishes of vegetable and one dish of meat, however, it turned out to be the opposite since the egg actually came with small prawns camouflaged.

For the same price, you can actually get two plates of them at other places.

Anyway, if you are going to order food from a mixed vegetable rice stall, do check out with the staff before you decide on any dish because you do not wish to be charged higher for just a tiny portion of meat among the vegetable.

We hope all mixed vegetable rice sellers will try to solve the problem, probably by placing dishes of meat and vegetable separately.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Calling for Internet Love Scam Victims

Dear all,

We have being contacted by a reporter from the Straits Times to look for victims of Internet love scams.

If you or any of your friends have experienced such scam, do step out and share your story because it can help many people to avoid being scammed.

To share the story, please contact us or Carolyn at kcarolyn at sph dot com dot sg.

Please note that the article is due for this coming Sunday (12 February 2012).

I'm Carolyn from the Straits Times.

There has been a rise in internet love scams, up from last year and we're looking at doing a story on victims of Internet love scams and to find out the reasons why they fell prey to such crime.

We're hoping that Scams Singapore would be able to refer us to victims who were scammed before or were close to being scammed. Rest assured we won't mention any names in our story.

By helping us, Scams Singapore would be doing a public service as the stories and experiences would help to serve as cautionary tales for many other Singaporeans.

Hope to hear from you as soon as possible, thanks.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Handphone Scam - Latest Scam Tactics in Taiwan

The following is being circulated through emails. The current technology is highly possible to allow this to happen.

Though this scam is rumored to be happening in Taiwan, it's very possible that the same tactic can be applied at anywhere.

Do read on.

Latest scam tactics in Taiwan... it will likely to nearer to you soon!

So please be aware.


These con artists who will approach you are likely to be a female or an elderly person. They will tell you that they just got rob and need to call the police. Right in front of you, they will call 110, 911 or 119 (the
emergency tel for the local police). They will speak loudly for you to hear that they are reporting a case but halfway through, they will pretend that the reception is poor and walk about 5meters away from you with their
back towards you.

All they need is 1min and a tiny gadget that acts as a USB (available for sale in China) to copy your entire phone book contacts.

Then over the next few hours, they will SMS to all your contacts, pretending to be you (with your tel no appearing in your contact's phone).

The SMS will say that you are now overseas, in trouble with the police, you cannot use your phone and that is why you are sending out SMS. You need help to transfer money to an account. Usually the amount they ask is within
affordable range. Your phone will not be contactable for the few hours that they are busy sending out SMS. So your family and friends will believe you are in trouble.

The case below happened to a Taiwanese and he reported to the local police a few days later when his friends finally manage to contact him and he learned that he was being duped. The police told him that this is an old
trick that they use to target tourists and now they are moving to the locals.

So my friends, please do not lend your phone to ANYONE you do not know. If they really want help, send them to the nearest police station!