Friday, April 6, 2012

Free Zoo Tickets Scam - Phone Scam

Recently, there are cases of people being rang up regarding free Singapore Zoological Gardens tickets. The caller has claimed that the owner of the phone number has won free tickets to the Singapore Zoo but they have to reveal their identification (IC) numbers and other details in order to get the tickets. Since the scammer may have taken the phone number from the phone directory, the scammer may also know victim's name, which make the scam look more convincing.

The Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), which runs the Singapore Zoo has announced that the free tickets distribution is a hoax.

This could be either a prank to make the victims to go down all the way to the Zoo to collect their "free" tickets or simply a scam to steal their IC numbers.

We are not sure what can the scammer do with the name, IC and phone numbers of the victims. It may be useful in cracking SingPass since the login requires the user's IC number, together with a password, and the user may have used his/her phone number as the password. Similar to some Internet Banking, IC number is the login. The scammer may also collect the IC number before lying low temporary and strike the victim off-guarded - there are new scam methods emerging everyday and do expect the unexpected.

If this scam is purely a prank, the scammer has probably done the Singapore Zoo a big favour for the free marketing. McDonald's place advertisements every now and then to create an impression on the public and the Singapore Zoo will definitely need it as well and they get it for free this time. Victims may also lead their family members down to collect the "free" tickets and they will eventually buy the tickets since they are already there. Many families in Singapore are busy with work and will rarely find time to get together. We hereby represent Singapore Zoo and the affected victims to thank the scammer.

Nevertheless, we would like to urge the public not to be easily taken in by such phone scam. Do not trust a caller completely. If you have won a prize from a big company, they will mail you a letter instead. And also, a decent company does not even need you to verify yourself since it is not a guess-and-win phone game. Please feel odd when the caller starts asking you for sensitive information. Big companies will also not use private number to call you.

We would encourage the public not to take up any random street survey, which the surveyor may lead you to provide your details.

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