ICA warns of scam callers impersonating officers, accusing victims of breaking Covid-19 rules

The scammers threatened the recipients that a report would be lodged against them or that they had to pay a penalty.
The scammers threatened the recipients that a report would be lodged against them or that they had to pay a penalty.PHOTO: MOHD ISHAK

SINGAPORE - The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has warned of a spate of recent calls from scammers claiming to be its officers.

In a statement on Friday (Aug 13), ICA said it was aware that people had been receiving calls from the number +65 6812-5555, which is similar to ICA's SafeTravel Enquiries Helpline, 6812-5555.

The callers claimed to be officers from government agencies. They accused the recipients of spreading fake news related to Covid-19 or breaking Covid-19 rules.

The scammers then threatened the recipients that a report would be lodged against them or that they had to pay a penalty.

"The ICA would like to clarify that such calls were not made by our officers or any other government agencies. ICA does not call members of the public to transfer money in any form," the authority said.

It advised people to ignore the calls and the caller's instructions, and not to transfer any money.

"ICA takes a serious view of such scam calls as it undermines public trust in ICA," it said, adding that a police report has been lodged.

Anyone with related information can call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit it at this website.

More scam-related advice can be found via the anti-scam hotline on 1800-722-6688 or at this website.

Spotting a scam

- No government agency will request banking account login details or personal details over the phone.

- Scammers may mask their actual phone numbers and display a different number using ID spoofing technology. Calls that appear to be from a local number (prefixed with "+65") may not actually be made from Singapore.

- Never disclose personal information such as name, identification number, passport details, contact details, bank account or credit card details to unknown parties.