Coronavirus: ICA clarifies messages, calls from the authority to people on stay-home notice are legitimate

ICA explained that people on stay-home notice may receive an SMS alert to report on their location.

SINGAPORE - The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) clarified that messages or calls people on stay-home notices may get from the authority to verify their locations are legitimate, as it also outlined how they can confirm the messages are authentic.

This clarification comes at a time when several scams related to the coronavirus pandemic have surfaced recently.

ICA said in a Facebook post on Tuesday (April 7) that it has received queries from members of the public under stay-home notices about these text messages as well as voice and video calls.

The authority explained that these people may receive an SMS alert from ICA to report on their location.

The SMS has a link with the prefix " /'' followed by a randomly generated alphanumeric code.

People who use the link will be brought to a webpage to report their location.

Those served with stay-home notices may also get voice and video calls through WhatsApp from ICA requesting to see their immediate surroundings to verify their location.

During the video calls, they will be asked to provide the last four digits of their identity card or travel document numbers to ascertain their identities.

People who wish to verify the call can dial the stay-home notice helpline on 6812-5555.

ICA added that it would not ask for the financial information or request for any payment from people served with stay-home notices over the phone.

Last month, the Government imposed a mandatory 14-day stay-home notice on all travellers entering Singapore from March 20, including Singaporeans and residents, to reduce the risk of spread of the coronavirus from imported cases.

ICA's clarification comes at a time when scams linked to the coronavirus outbreak have surfaced in recent months.

In February, the Ministry of Health warned of scammers using automated voice calls, or impersonating its staff members and contact tracing personnel, to ask for personal information including financial details.

While the ministry said that it was contacting people for contact tracing in the light of the coronavirus outbreak, it would not ask for financial details during these calls.

Members of the public who wish to verify the authenticity of contact tracing phone calls may call MOH on 6325-9220.

The Singapore Police Force also said at the time that no government agency will request for personal details or transfer of money over the phone or through automated voice machines.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.