SINGAPORE - A 45-year-old woman became the latest victim in a police impersonation scam, after entering her bank account details on a fake Singapore Police Force website.
In a statement on Thursday (Dec 14), the police revealed details of the case, in a bid to alert the public to the scam.
The woman had made a police report on Dec 13 when she discovered that $31,500 had been transferred from her bank account without her knowledge.
Earlier, she had received a call from a man claiming to be a police officer, who said that she was suspected of being involved in illegal activities.
He also told her that she was banned from leaving Singapore.
The woman then received a call from another person, who directed her to a webpage that resembled the SPF website.
She was asked to key in her bank account details and provide the caller with the one-time pin (OTP).
She found out she had been duped only after the bank called and advised her to make a police report.
Investigations are ongoing.
The police said in the statement that the website used by the scammer was a phishing site, which is designed to extract personal information and privileged banking details of unsuspecting victims.
This has resulted in "extensive monetary losses in most reported cases", they said.
The police reiterated that its official website is www.police.gov.sg
They also urged the public to take the following precautions when they receive unsolicited calls, especially from unknown parties:
- Ignore the calls. Scammers may use caller ID spoofing technology to mask the actual phone number and display a different number. Calls that appear to be from a local number may not actually be made from Singapore. If you receive a suspicious call from a local number, hang up, wait five minutes, then call the number back to check the validity of the request.
- Ignore instructions to remit or transfer money. No government agency will inform you to make a payment through a telephone call, especially to a third party's bank account.
- Refrain from giving out personal information and bank details, whether on a website or to callers over the phone. Personal information and bank details such as Internet bank account usernames and passwords, OTP codes from tokens, are useful to criminals.
The police also called on the public to be wary of befriending strangers online, who may then use their bank account to either receive money or transfer money to someone else.