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The police want to alert the public to impersonation scams involving the use of a fake Singapore Police Force (SPF) website.
On Dec 7, the police received a report from a 20-year-old man who informed them that a sum of $5600 had been transferred from his bank account without his knowledge.
He had earlier received a call from a man claiming to be a police officer who informed him that he is involved in a case of money laundering before asking him for his personal details.
The victim subsequently received a call from another person who directed him to a webpage resembling the SPF’s website.
He was told to provide his personal information such as his name, personal identification number, bank account details as well as passwords.
The victim later found out that two different transactions had been made from his bank account without his consent. The victim was subsequently told by the scammers to delete the bank notifications which indicated the sum of money that had been transferred.
The website is a phishing site in disguise, designed to extract useful personal information and privileged banking details of unsuspecting victims, resulting in extensive monetary losses in most reported cases.
Do take the following precautions if you receive unsolicited calls, especially from unknown parties:
a. Ignore the calls. 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 five minutes, then call the number back to check the validity of the request.
b. Ignore instructions to remit or transfer money. No government agency will inform you to make a payment through a telephone call, especially to a third party's bank account.
c. Refrain from giving out personal information and bank details, whether on the website or to callers over the phone. Personal information and bank details such as Internet bank account usernames and passwords, OTP codes from tokens, are useful to criminals.
The police would also like to inform members of the public to be wary of befriending unknown persons online who may ask to use your bank account to either receive money or transfer money to someone else. You may be in the process of being recruited as a money mule.
Do not give your personal particulars or bank account details to strangers and decline any request by an acquaintance for money transfers – you might unwittingly be committing a crime by laundering money for another party. Report to the police and the bank immediately if you suspect that you have received unknown monies in your account. If you are approached by anyone who claims to be a police officer, ask for the warrant card.
If you have information related to such crimes or if you are in doubt, please call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit the information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. Please dial ‘999’ if you require urgent Police assistance.
To seek scam-related advice, members of the public may call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688. Do share this advisory with family and friends to prevent them from being the next scam victim.