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Two victims aged 41 and 25 were nearly scammed into remitting $29,000 and $1,900 respectively to overseas bank accounts, if not for the timely intervention of Hanshan Money Express Pte Ltd.
The police said they were alerted to two suspected cases of cheating by staff at Hanshan Money Express, which is located at People's Park Complex, on Nov 6.
Investigations revealed that the victims had on the same day received phone calls claiming to be from the police headquarters.
They were informed that they were under investigation for 'money laundering activities'.
The victims were then provided with instructions on the transfer of monies for 'investigation purpose', which they complied with. They proceeded to Hanshan Money Express to make the transfer.
However, staff who attended to the victims smelled a rat and informed their supervisor, who then notified the police.
"Due to the timely intervention by Hanshan Money Express Pte Ltd, a total of $30,900 was fully recovered," said the police in a news release.
This is not the first time Hanshan Money Express has foiled a scam attempt.
And just days ago, it was reported that Zhongguo Remittance Pte Ltd, also located at People's Park Complex, had prevented a 70-year-old woman from being scammed of $31,000.
Here are some precautions that you can take when you receive calls from unknown parties, as advised by the police:
1. 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.
2. Ignore instruction 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.
3. 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.
4. Call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before you act. You may be overwhelmed by emotion and make errors in your judgment.
5. 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.