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Singaporeans warned against scammers ahead of papal visit

Catholic Church through a public advisory urged the people to trust only official websites for information
People gather for a photograph next to the Merlion statue at Marina Bay waterfront in Singapore on March 18, 2024.

People gather for a photograph next to the Merlion statue at Marina Bay waterfront in Singapore on March 18, 2024. (Photo: AFP)

Published: April 16, 2024 10:37 AM GMT
Updated: April 16, 2024 11:18 AM GMT

The Catholic Church in Singapore has cautioned people against individuals and groups posing as agents connected to the ticketing process for the upcoming papal visit to the city-state from Sept. 11 to 13.

The public advisory issued on April 15 urged the public to “trust only official websites for information on the papal visit and Mass,” Channel News Asia (CNA) reported on April 16.

“We have received reports of individuals/groups attempting to phish/acquire personal information by misrepresenting themselves as being associated with the ticketing process for the Papal Mass,” the press statement said.

Phishing is defined as the practice of tricking internet user by using deceptive email messages or websites to reveal their personal or confidential information which can then be used illicitly.

The Archbishop’s Communications Office also urged the public to “remain vigilant and not to fall prey to these scams.”

The archdiocesan office also notified that the tickets for the Papal Mass, when available, “will be free of charge.”

The archdiocese also gave the list of approved websites for official information on Papal Visit which is slated to take place 38 years after Pope John Paul II had visited Singapore on Nov. 20, 1986.

The approved websites are - popefrancis2024.sg, catholic.sg, mycatholic.sg, catholicnews.sg, and catholicfoundation.sg.

The public was also advised to refrain from sharing any personal information with “any other websites or individuals claiming to offer tickets or information about the papal visit,” the advisory read.

Pope Francis, during his visit to Singapore, is expected to be at a Eucharistic celebration, "likely" on Sep 12, CNA reported citing archdiocesan sources.

More information regarding the Pope’s visit will be "released progressively in due course,” the Singapore Archdiocese said, CNA reported.

Pope Francis’ visit to Singapore will be the last leg of his Asia tour this year. He will be in Indonesia from Sept. 3 to 6, Papua New Guinea from Sept. 6 to 9, and Timor-Leste from Sept. 9 to 11.

The trip will be the longest for Pope Francis, involving more than 30 hours of flight as well as a series of meetings and masses since he became head of the Catholic Church in 2013, CNA reported.

Pope Francis had been due to visit Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Indonesia in September 2020 but the trip was canceled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pope John Paul II’s visit to Singapore in 1986 was a brief five-hour stop as part of his Asia-Pacific tour that included Bangladesh, New Zealand, and Australia, CNA reported.

The Holy Mass organized at the National Stadium was attended by thousands of people at that time.

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