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The police warned the public about a variant of Government Officials Impersonation Scam (GOIS) where scammers allegedly pose as officers from the Singapore Police Force (SPF).
The scammers would present fake SPF warrant cards to validate their identity in order to convince the victims that they were under investigations.
The police said in this variant, the victims received unsolicited phone calls from callers who claimed to be from the Singapore High Court.
Their calls were supposedly transferred to a 'police officer', who informed the victims that they were being investigated for money-laundering activities.
The victims were instructed to download the LINE or WhatsApp messaging platforms for further communication with the 'police officer'.
The victims would then purportedly be shown a fake SPF warrant card on the messaging platforms. For LINE, the victims would also be added into a chat group named 'Reporting Platform'.
The victims would then be instructed to provide their personal details and that of their family members, including the victims’ bank account details, for record purposes.
Victims were subsequently instructed to surrender money for investigations by making transfers to various bank accounts controlled by the scammers.
The victims were promised that the money transferred to these bank accounts would be returned to them upon completion of investigations.
In some cases, the victims were also asked to hand over control of their bank accounts and SingPass accounts as part of the purported investigations.
The police emphasised that the police will not instruct members of the public to transfer money to designated bank accounts for investigations.
Police officers will also not identify themselves with the SPF warrant card on online platforms.
The public is 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;
For foreign residents receiving calls from persons claiming to be Police officers or government officials from your home country, please call your Embassy/High Commission to verify the claims of the caller;
Refrain from giving out personal information and bank details, whether on a website or to callers over the phone. Personal information and bank details such as internet bank account usernames and passwords, or One-Time Password (OTP) codes from tokens, are useful to criminals. Do not make any fund transfer(s) at the behest of such callers;
Call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before you act. Do not be pressured by the caller to act impulsively; and
If in doubt, call ‘999’ or approach a police officer at the Neighbourhood Police Centre near you.
If you wish to provide any information related to such scams, call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. If you require urgent Police assistance, dial ‘999’.
For scam-related advice, call the National Crime Prevention Council’s anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg.