Police prevent 4 from being scammed $5,800 by 'officials' from China

SINGAPORE - Police prevented four people from being scammed of $5,800 by fake officials from China in the last two months.

In a statement on Sunday (Nov 4), the police said that officers from Bukit Merah East Neighbourhood Police Centre stopped the scams in September and October.

Three women and one man, aged between 19 and 28, received unsolicited calls from strangers claiming to be government officials.

The impersonators told them that they had committed criminal offences and were required to assist in investigations.

They were then asked to deposit money into an account via a cryptocurrency cash deposit machine in order to resolve the matter.

Police said that they came across the four individuals during engagements with members of the public to raise awareness on scams.

In its statement, the police advised members of the public to ignore such unsolicited calls, and to speak to a trusted friend or relative before acting impulsively.

"No government agency will demand payment through an undocumented medium like a telephone call or other social messaging platforms, or ask you for personal banking information such as your internet banking passwords," it added.

The Straits Times reported in August that four people were arrested for their suspected involvement in impersonating officials from China, demanding money from victims amounting to over $8,000.

Mid-year crime statistics released by the police show that in the first half of this year, there were 182 cases of such scams.

This was a 213.8 per cent jump from the same period last year, which had 58 cases.

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