SINGAPORE - Three Taiwanese men allegedly involved in police impersonation scams were charged in court yesterday.
Huang Ying-Chun, 52, Chen Peng Yu, 34, and Chen You Jeng, 33, stand accused of dishonestly receiving stolen property.
Another Taiwanese man, 30-year-old Hsieh Teng Chia, has also been arrested in relation to the impersonation scams.
Of the four, Huang was said to have received $150,000 at about 6pm last Wednesday in Lorong 40, Geylang.
His expression was solemn as the charge was read to him in court yesterday.
He is "believed to be involved in a series of scam cases", said the prosecution.
Public urged to take precautions
Members of the public are advised to take precautions when they receive unsolicited calls, especially from unknown parties, said the police.
Recipients should ignore the calls, as scammers may use caller ID spoofing technology to mask their actual number.
Those receiving a suspicious call from a local number can hang up and call back in five minutes to check the validity of the request.
They should also ignore instructions to remit or transfer money, and avoid giving out personal information or bank details, be it through a website or over the phone.
Before acting, they should also call a trusted friend or relative to avoid errors in judgment due to emotions.
Huang will be remanded for a week, and his case is expected to be heard again on Friday.
In an earlier statement, police said they arrested a Taiwanese man last Thursday - a day after a 55-year-old woman reported losing about $225,000 after taking a call from an unknown person claiming to be a police officer.
She was allegedly told she was being investigated by the authorities for money-laundering offences. Her call was then transferred to another unknown person, who said he was a police officer from a foreign country.
The woman was given a link to an e-service website supposedly from the Singapore Police Force, and allegedly instructed to key in her Internet banking details.
She later realised her bank account had been accessed illegally without her knowledge and about $225,000 had been transferred to unknown bank accounts.
According to the police statement, preliminary investigations showed the Taiwanese man is believed to be involved in at least 10 other similar cases. The total losses amounted to more than $800,000. If convicted of the offence of dishonestly receiving stolen property, the men could be jailed for up to five years and fined.