Police alert public to re-emergence of phone impersonation scams

Police have reminded the public to take precaution when they receive unknown phone calls.
Police have reminded the public to take precaution when they receive unknown phone calls.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Observing a re-emergence of phone impersonation scams, the police have issued an advisory to remind the public to take precautions when they receive unknown phone calls.

Citing two examples, the advisory described how callers purportedly from courier companies and/or the Government directed recipients to provide their personal details and particulars, including Internet banking credentials and One-Time Passwords (OTP). Their monies would then be transferred out of their bank accounts.

In the first case, the caller claimed a parcel under the recipient's name containing illegal goods was being detained by the Chinese Customs, with another person identifying himself as the police confirming the situation.

The other type had the caller alleging that the recipient had committed a criminal offence, requiring him to assist in criminal investigations.

The police advised members of the public to ignore the calls, and under no circumstances give out their personal information and bank details, whether on a website or over the phone.

Calls that appear to be from a local number may also not actually be made from Singapore, as the scammer may use Caller ID spoofing technology to mask the actual phone number. To check their validity, hang up, then wait five minutes before calling back.

If you wish to provide any information, please call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.