Man arrested for allegedly posing as police officer to scam woman

A 37-year-old woman had received a call from the suspect, who claimed he was a police officer and asked for her personal details and particulars.
A 37-year-old woman had received a call from the suspect, who claimed he was a police officer and asked for her personal details and particulars.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER FILE

SINGAPORE - A 36-year-old man was arrested on Monday (July 25) for his suspected involvement in an impersonation of police officer scam.

In a news release on Tuesday evening, police said they were alerted by a bank on Monday that the suspect was making suspicious transactions from his bank account.

Armed with the information, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department and Commercial Affairs Department conducted their investigations and found that a 37-year-old woman had received a call at about 10am from the suspect, who claimed he was a police officer.

She was told to provide her personal details and particulars, which included her internet banking credentials and one-time password (OTP) to the suspect for "investigation purposes".

It was later discovered that about $32,000 had been transferred from her bank account to the suspect's.

He was arrested at about 5.45pm in a police operation.

If found guilty, he could be jailed for up to five years and/or fined for the offence of dishonestly receiving stolen property.

The police have warned the public to take precautions upon receiving unsolicited calls, especially from unknown parties. Here are some tips:

- 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;

- 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;

- 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;

- Call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before you act. You may be overwhelmed by emotion and err in your judgment;

- If you have information related to such crime or if you are in doubt, call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or dial 999 for urgent Police assistance.