SINGAPORE - An e-mail scam by people posing as traffic police has been spreading, the police warned on Monday (April 24).
In their e-mails, the perpetrators tell the victims they have received parking tickets and that a court appearance is required.
They then provide a falsified parking fine number and tell the victim to pay their parking fine either online or by a phone automated system.
"The police would like to clarify that both the website and phone number do not belong to the Singapore Police Force (SPF)," said the police in their news release.
"The e-mail was also not disseminated by the Traffic Police or the Land Transport Authority."
The police added that "no government agency will inform you to make a payment through a telephone call, especially to a third party's bank account".
According to a sample scam e-mail provided by the police, one of the offending e-mail senders uses the address "firstname.lastname@example.org".
".br" is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Brazil.
The phone number provided in the e-mail is (866)561-9742. Area code 866 is not assigned to a specific geographical area.
Scammers often pose as the authorities when trying to trick victims to give them money or sensitive information. Last Wednesday (April 19), the police warned the public of a fake SPF website.
Victims were told that they were suspected of being involved in criminal activities such as money laundering, and were directed to a website that resembles the SPF website.
They were asked to provide confidential information, such as credit card details and Internet banking details, for investigativepurposes.
The Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) on April 13 also said scammers posing as ICA officers over the phone were asking victims to transfer money, claiming that the funds were to rectify discrepancies in personal information given to the ICA.
The police referred the public to their anti-scam helpline and website at 1800-722-6688 and www.scamalert.sg.
In their release, police advised the public to take the following precautions when they receive such e-mails, especially from unknown senders:
- Ignore the e-mails and do not respond to them.
- Do not click on any links or open any file attachments inside the fake e-mail as they may be malicious.
- Ignore instructions to remit or transfer money.
- 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.
- If you have information related to such crimes or if you are in doubt, please call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit the information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. Please dial "999" if you require urgent Police assistance.