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At least 148 victims have suffered losses of at least $182,000 since January 2023 to government official impersonation scams, said police.
In this variant, victims would receive unsolicited phone calls or in-app calls, including WhatsApp video calls, allegedly from government agencies such as the Singapore Police Force (SPF) or the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
The scammers would claim that there were issues with the victim's bank accounts and ask for additional verification like their banking or personal information such as banking credentials and One-Time Passwords (OTPs) to resolve these 'issues'.
The victims would also be asked to show their identity cards, work permits or their bank cards when speaking to these so-called 'SPF' and 'MOM' officers via in-app video call.
Victims would only discover that they had been scammed when they realised that there were unauthorised transactions made from their bank accounts.
The police remind members of the public to remain vigilant against such scams and emphasised that SPF does not ask members of the public to provide their bank account information and passwords or to transfer money to any bank account.
They also advise the public to adopt the following precautionary measures:
Add - Install the ScamShield app to protect yourself.
Check - Before giving banking credentials over the telephone or WhatsApp, check with authorised sources because the police will never ask you for your banking credentials and OTP over the telephone or WhatsApp. Never share your banking credentials, including your OTPs, with anyone over the phone.
Tell – Report the number to WhatsApp for them to initiate in-app blocking. If you have disclosed your banking details, report this to your bank immediately. Tell your friends about this scam so they do not fall for it.
"If you have information relating to such crimes or if you are in doubt, please call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness," the police said.
"Please call ‘999’ if you require urgent police assistance.
"For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Helpline at 1800-722-6688."