SINGAPORE - Three men have been arrested for their suspected involvement in separate cases of impersonation scams, said the police on Thursday (June 28).
In the first case, a 53-year-old Chinese national had received calls on Monday from an unknown man who claimed to be from police in China.
The man was told he was involved in a money laundering case and was asked to provide his bank account details over the phone for investigations, said the police in its statement.
The victim also told the caller his one-time password over the phone.
After the call ended, he found out that $50,000 was transferred out of his account to an unknown account, and realised that he had been cheated.
Precautions against scams
1. Ignore such calls and the caller’s instructions. No government agency will demand payment through an undocumented medium like a telephone call or other social messaging platforms (WeChat or Facebook); or ask you for personal banking information such as your internet banking passwords.
2. For foreign residents receiving calls from persons claiming to be police officers or government officials from your home country, call your Embassy/High Commission to verify the claims of the caller.
3. Refrain from giving out personal information and bank details, whether on a 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. Do not make any funds transfer at the behest of such callers.
4. Call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before you act. Do not be pressured by the caller to act impulsively.
For scam-related advice, call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or visitwww.scamalert.sg.
Two days later, officers from the Commercial Affairs Department arrested two Taiwanese men, aged 22 and 27, along Geylang Road.
Investigations had revealed that the two men had received criminal proceeds linked to the scam, said police.
In another case, a 31-year-old Singaporean received a phone call from a person claiming to be an official from the High Court.
The caller told the man that he was being investigated for transnational money laundering offences in China, and had to hand over $5,000 at Kallang Wave Mall to a police inspector for investigation.
When the man arrived at the mall, he felt something was amiss and called the police.
Officers from the Bedok Police Division then arrested a 20-year-old Malaysian at the scene, who was found with $47,200 - money believed to be from other victims who had fallen for the same scam.
If convicted, all three men could face jail terms of up to five years or fined, or both.
In its statement, police said impersonation scams can take on many variations, and reminded the public to take precautions when they receive calls to transfer money or provide personal information.