Man depositing $500,000 cheque detected by bank, funds put on hold due to suspected scam

The Anti-Scam Centre of the Singapore Police Force worked with DBS Bank and UOB Bank on two separate scam cases in March to prevent more than $3 million in losses for the victims.

In one case, a 52-year-old man was contacted by a “Senior Inspector from the SPF” informing him that he was under investigation.

The man was instructed to transfer a sum of $200,000 every day over a period of two weeks to various bank accounts for the purpose of inspection and verification.

When he deposited a cheque of $500,000 to the account provided by the scammer for inspection, it was detected by DBS Bank’s Anti-Mule Team.

The bank immediately put a hold on the funds and reported the case to the Anti-Scam Centre who swiftly proceeded to engage the man.

He was convinced that he had fallen prey to a scam after the red flags were pointed out to him.

The cheque was stopped by DBS Bank, preventing further losses amounting to $2.9 million.

In the other case, a 76-year-old man was contacted by a scammer posing as a bank staff, informing him that his identity was being misused.

The man was referred to a “Police Officer from the Singapore Police Force (SPF)” who claimed that the man was under investigation for money laundering.

He was given a choice for normal investigation lasting up to 60 days or "Priority Financial Inspection" lasting a week, which required him to transfer money to a given account.

The man complied and transferred over $127,500 to three different bank accounts provided by the scammer.

When the victim ran out of cash, he wanted to make a withdrawal from his Central Provident Fund (CPF) account to make the payment.

UOB detected the suspicious transactions and promptly blocked the transaction.

The case was escalated to the Anti-Scam Centre where officers swiftly engaged the man in person to understand the situation. He was eventually convinced that he had fallen prey to scam.

The quick intervention prevented losses amounting to $98,000 which the victim had attempted to transfer from his CPF account that day.