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Cheats use MOM hotline number

Victims tricked into transferring money after being warned about work pass issues

Published on Jun 1, 2014 6:11 AM
A screenshot of the call log from Mr Chaudhuri's phone. MOM's hotline number is in red.

When a man claiming to be a Manpower Ministry (MOM) official called to warn that he was facing deportation, Mr Chaudhuri, an Indian national working as an academic researcher here, believed him.

The caller rattled off Mr Chaudhuri's full name, Foreign Identification Number, date of birth, when he arrived here and a case number. Even the caller's phone number - 64385122 - was the same as MOM's contact centre hotline.

After scolding Mr Chaudhuri for providing the incorrect date of birth in an embarkation form, the man provided a simple "solution". All Mr Chaudhuri had to do was pay a "refundable" fee of $1,000, which will be returned the same evening. He ended up paying $2,000 before he realised it was a scam and lodged a police report.

Mr Chaudhuri (not his real name) was not the only such victim.

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