SINGAPORE - At least $15,700 was lost in just one week to scam callers posing as employees from Apple and Google.
The police said on Saturday (Dec 22) that they received at least eight reports of impersonation scams between Dec 13 and 20 this year.
The scams, which targeted retailers which sold Google Play and Apple iTunes gift cards, would play out in the following manner: Staff would receive calls from unknown people claiming to be employees from Apple's iTunes or Google Play.
The callers would allegedly claim to have received numerous complaints from customers who were unable to retrieve the stored values in their Google Play and iTunes gift cards they had purchased.
Claiming that they were investigating the manner, callers would request for the activation numbers for both types of cards on the pretext of checking their validity.
The staff then provided the activation numbers of several cards. The callers afterwards said that they would contact the staff again after informing their "main office" of their findings. However, no further calls were received.
The Straits Times understands that convenience store chain 7-Eleven was one of the victims of the scams.
The police advised retailers to be cautious when receiving unsolicited calls from unknown persons, even if they claim to be the staff of retailers' suppliers.
When in doubt, retailers should verify the authenticity of the calls by contacting their suppliers on phone numbers which were previously known to them, instead of any numbers the callers may provide. Retailers are also advised to warn their employees about the scam.
To seek scam-related advice, members of the public may call the anti-scam helpline on 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg
Those who wish to provide any information related to such crimes may call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000, or submit the information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. Anyone requiring urgent police assistance should dial 999.