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A new banking-related phishing scam involves scammers posing as officers from the Singapore Police Force (SPF) on messaging applications, the police reminded.
These scammers would misuse publicly available pictures of SPF officers to validate their identity, in order to convince victims that they were under investigations to get them to provide their banking details.
In this variant, the victims received unsolicited calls via WhatsApp from a WhatsApp account with a profile picture showing SPF officers.
The police said in an advisory: "During the conversation with victims, the scammer would also provide a SPF name card as proof of his identity.
"The victims would be informed that their bank accounts had been found to be involved in criminal activity and were frozen.
"Under the pretext of facilitating the release of victims’ bank accounts, the scammer would instruct the victim to provide their bank account details, credit or debit card details, and One-Time Passwords (OTPs).
"Victims only realised that they had fallen prey to a scam when they received notifications informing them that money had been transferred from their bank accounts to bank accounts unfamiliar to them or when they discovered unknown transactions made using their credit or debit card."
The police also said they received at least 200 reports this year of banking-related phishing scams where SPF officers were impersonated
They added: "The police would like to emphasize that SPF officers will never request for bank account details and OTPs from members of the public."
Members of the public are advised to take the following precautions when they receive unsolicited calls to surrender money or banking credentials to others in order to avoid criminal investigations:
Ignore such calls and the caller’s instructions.
No local government agency will demand payment through an undocumented medium like a telephone call or other social messaging platforms, demand that you surrender cash to unnamed persons, or ask you for personal banking information such as your internet banking passwords.
Never share your bank account details, credit or debit card details and OTPs with anyone;
If in doubt, call ‘999’ or approach a police officer at the Neighbourhood Police Centre near you.
If you have information related to such cases, please call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.
For urgent police assistance, dial '999'.
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688.