Police warn of calls from scammers impersonating bank staff

These calls often contain a +65 prefix, suggesting they are made from overseas. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The police issued an advisory on Monday (April 11) warning the public of a recurring trend where scammers approach victims through spoofed calls.

Victims receive unsolicited phone calls from individuals claiming to be bank employees and are told that their bank accounts have been misused and that they are under investigation for money laundering.

These calls often contain a +65 prefix, suggesting they are made from overseas.

The caller requests the victim's bank account login details and one-time password (OTP) under the pretext of verifying them.

Then the call is transferred to someone purportedly from the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), to facilitate the lodging of a police report.

The fake officer from CAD subsequently communicates with the victim on social messaging platform WhatsApp and asks for personal particulars, including photographs and identification documents, claiming such information is required for the police report.

In some cases, victims have received a picture of a letter purportedly from the Singapore Police Force, notifying them that they are under investigation.

Eventually, targeted individuals realise they have been scammed when they receive notifications from the banks, informing them that their contact details have been changed and unauthorised transactions were made from their bank accounts.

The police emphasised that no local government agency will ask for personal details such as NRIC number and photographs through undocumented media such as telephone calls or social messaging platforms.

Members of the public are advised to ignore unsolicited calls and the callers' instructions to surrender banking credentials to facilitate criminal investigations.

People should also not disclose their personal particulars, bank login details and OTP to anyone, including family and friends.

They should also call trusted friends or relatives before taking action, and report any fraudulent activity in their bank accounts to the relevant banks immediately.

Those with information related to such crimes should call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit a report online here.

For scam-related advice, they may also call the anti-scam helpline on 1800-722-6688 or go to this website.

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