Scammers pretending to be from banks have cheated victims of $600k in 5 months

Scammers targeting bank customers in Singapore have cheated victims of at least $600,000 from January to May 2020, the police said in a statement on Tuesday (July 28).

The police said they have received at least 82 reports of a new scam variant targeting bank customers.

In such cases, the victims would receive an SMS pretending to be from their bank, informing them that their bank accounts had been “suspended or deactivated”.

They would then be directed to call a specified phone number for assistance.

When victims call the phone number, scammers impersonating as bank staff would answer the call, and ask the victims’ for their personal particulars, internet banking details and One-Time Passwords (OTPs).

After providing their details, the victims would subsequently discover that unauthorised transactions were made from their bank accounts.   

Members of the public are advised to adopt the following crime prevention measures:

1. Beware of unsolicited messages or calls from persons impersonating as staff from banks. Scammers may use spoofing technology to mask their actual phone number to display the bank’s name, number and logo on the profile picture for mobile applications such as ‘Viber’ and ‘WhatsApp’, as well as in SMS messages.

2. Do not disclose your internet banking details such as account username, Personal Identification Number (PIN), and OTPs to anyone. Banks and government agencies will never ask you to disclose your internet banking details to them. Do not respond to or authorise any authentication requests if you did not initiate any internet banking transaction.

3. If you receive a suspicious message or call purporting to be from your bank, call the hotline published on the bank’s website to verify the authenticity of the request. Do not call the number provided in the SMS.

If you wish to provide any information related to such scams, please call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at If you require urgent Police assistance, please dial ‘999’.

To seek scam-related advice, you may call the anti-scam helpline at 1800- 722-6688 or go to

Join the ‘Let’s Fight Scams’ campaign at by signing up as an advocate to receive up-to-date messages and share them with your family and friends.

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