The Singapore Police Force was alerted by a staff from Samlit Moneychanger Pte Ltd to a suspected case of cheating on 23 September 2016.
Officers from Central Division and Commercial Affairs Department responded to the case and ascertained that an attempted scam involving a 38-year-old male victim had occurred.
The victim said that he received an automated phone call claiming to be from the Police on 23 September 2016 which was then directed him to a female operator. She claimed to be an officer from SPF who informed him that he was under investigation for money laundering activities and liable to be arrested.
Intimidated, the victim then provided his personal details to the operator. Shortly after, the victim received another call from a man purporting to be a police officer, who told him that his account had been used for money laundering activities and that officers were on stand-by to arrest him.
However, the male caller volunteered to bail him for a sum of $5,000 which was to be remitted to a bank account in China. Throughout their phone conversation, the caller instructed the victim not to divulge any details of their correspondence.
Ms Goh who attended to the victim at the remittance company noticed that he appeared nervous and seemed to be taking instructions from the caller. Miss Goh then communicated with the victim by writing on a piece of paper. She immediately notified the Police as she suspected something was amiss.
Due to the timely intervention by the staff, the victim’s money was recovered.
The Police would like to advise members of the public to adopt the following precautions when they receive unsolicited calls, especially from unknown parties:
- Ignore the calls. Scammers may use Caller ID spoofing technology to mask the actual phone number and display a different number. Calls that appear to be from a local number may not actually be made from Singapore. If you receive a suspicious call from a local number, hang up, wait five minutes, then call the number back to check the validity of the request.
- Ignore instructions to remit or transfer money. No government agency will inform you to make a payment through a telephone call, especially to a third party’s bank account.
- Refrain from giving out personal information and bank details, whether on the website or to callers over the phone. Personal information and bank details such as internet bank account usernames and passwords, OTP codes from tokens, are useful to criminals.
- Call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before you act. You may be overwhelmed by emotion and err in your judgment.
- If you have information related to such crime or if you are in doubt, please call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or dial 999 for urgent Police assistance.