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The Straits Times
Friday, Sep 2, 2016
Two remittance agencies in People's Park Complex were quick on the draw in spotting dodgy transactions, and ended up saving scam victims a total of $8,500 on Thursday (Sept 1), police said in a media statement.
On Thursday morning, a 25-year-old woman was telephoned by an unknown woman caller. She was told that she had won a lucky draw in Hong Kong, but would have to transfer $5,000 to an overseas bank account in order to claim her prize.
The victim went to Zhongguo Remittance, where frontline staff member Shi Ze smelt a rat while assisting her. Mr Shi alerted his supervisor, Mr Lee Yong Jie, who called the police.
Zhongguo Remittance has gained a reputation for intervening in multiple scam attempts in recent months.
The second victim fell prey to the parcel scam that has been making the news lately.
In this scheme, members of the public receive phone calls informing them that contraband parcels made out in their name have been intercepted by law enforcement. They are coerced into coughing up money to evade the false charges.
In this case, a 37-year-old man received a phone call at around 7.30pm on Thursday, and was told that customs in Shanghai had seized a parcel sent under his name that contained "prohibited medications".
Callers purporting to be Shanghai police officers said that he would be investigated for money laundering and instructed him to provide his particulars and bank details.
The victim was then ordered to remit $3,500 to an overseas bank account.
To comply with the scammers' instructions, the victim went to Hanshan Money Express, where staff member Yang Weichan and her supervisor Lin Jin Xian raised the alarm.
Both victims' money was recovered in full, which police said was to the credit of the remittance agencies' prompt intervention.
Police remind the public to ignore unknown callers' instructions to remit or transfer money, even if they claim to be representing a government agency.
Members of the public should not accede to these callers' requests for personal information and bank details.