New purchase order scams target businesses, police warn

Samples of the false purchase orders that were sent by the scammer while posing as a procurement officer for SMU and NUS. PHOTOS: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - A new variant of scams has emerged, where scammers would pose as procurement officers from local universities and fool unsuspecting companies into delivering goods with promises of future payments, the police warned on Saturday (July 27).

Companies would receive e-mails purportedly sent by a procurement officer from a local university, asking for quotations for items such as electronics. The scammers would use e-mails with the template "procurement @".

A purchase order would be sent to the company via e-mail once the agreement is made. Fooled into believing that a genuine e-mail was sent, the company would deliver the goods to the stated address.

Investigations have revealed that the address indicated usually belonged to freight-forwarding companies engaged by scammers to ship the goods overseas. No payments were eventually received.

Companies are advised to verify the sender's domain name and authenticity of the request by contacting the universities via their official contact numbers, instead of those provided in the e-mail, the police advised. Tell-tale signs, such as poor grammar and spelling errors as well as the delivery address of a private residence, are also signs to take note of.

Those who wish to provide information about such scams may call the police on 1800-255-0000, or send the information online at

For scam-related advice, they can call the anti-scam helpline on 1800-722-6688 or visit

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