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A new variant of the infamous lucky draw scam involves scammers threatening victims with the police if they do not pay fees and charges to claim their non-existent prizes.
In an advisory cautioning members of the public about the scam, the police said that victims would receive a call from unknown overseas numbers informing them that they had won a lucky draw.
"They were then instructed to pay various 'fees and charges' in order to claim the lucky draw winnings," said the police on Monday (Dec 2).
When the victims declined to do so, the scammers would threaten to refer them to the police. A picture of a police report and/or a photo of police officers in uniform would also be sent to the victims.
"In one of the cases, the victim was also told to contact someone who claimed to be an officer from the Singapore Police Force," added the advisory.
According to the police, at least three cases have been reported between January and November 2019, with at least $1,600 cheated.
Members of the public are advised to be wary if you receive such messages or calls, especially if you have not participated in any lucky draws.
Ignore any instructions provided by the caller/message sender to make payments by remitting money or purchasing online credits and gift cards. Winning a lucky draw should not require any payments to be made to claim the prize.
You are also advised to adopt the following crime prevention measures:
Don’t panic – No government agency will request for transfer of money, personal details or bank account login credentials over the phone. Call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before you act. You may be overwhelmed by emotion and err in your judgment.
Don’t believe – 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 a while, then call the number back to check the validity of the request.
Don’t give – Do not provide your name, identification number, passport details, contact details, bank account or credit card details, and One-Time-Password (OTP) to anyone. Such information is useful to criminals.
To provide any information related to such crimes, you may call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. For urgent police assistance, please dial ‘999’.