Law Ministry warns of scammers impersonating its officers on phone and leaving automated voice messages

Members of the public should not make any payments to callers claiming to be from the ministry by any means. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Law (MinLaw) on Tuesday (July 28) warned the public not to fall victim to scammers impersonating its officers on the phone.

It said the scammers would ask their victims to redeem documents or parcels, and sometimes would provide a fake staff identification number and a non-toll free line to support their claims.

In some cases, the scam calls included an automated voice message that said "the Ministry of Law is unable to locate you" in English and Mandarin, and would then prompt the victims to press a number to speak to a customer service officer.

The ministry has advised members of the public to be vigilant, pointing out that its outgoing call system does not play automated voice messages, and its case officers do not have staff identification numbers.

In a statement, MinLaw also said that it does not place calls from overseas. Calls made from abroad can be identified by a "+" prefix in the caller ID.

Members of the public should not make any payments to callers claiming to be from the ministry by any means, as it does not ask for payments through telephone calls.

The public is also reminded not to provide anyone with personal information like their name, NRIC number, passport details, bank account or credit card details and SMS One-Time Passwords (OTP).

Those who need to authenticate calls from MinLaw can ask its officers for case-related information such as the case reference number.

"As some of our officers are telecommuting during this period, there will be instances where they call from a private or non-official number," said the ministry.

Its hotline at 1800-225-5529 is also open from 8.30am to 5pm on weekdays for callers to verify the identity of MinLaw officers.

MinLaw is not the only government body to have been targeted by scammers. In March, the Ministry of Health (MOH) warned of scammers using automated voice calls or impersonating its staff, asking users to provide personal information including financial details for contact tracing purposes.

That same month, the police said that since January a number of victims had lost at least $330,000 to such scams, in which government officials or law enforcement authorities were impersonated.

MinLaw urged those with information relating to scam calls to lodge a police report at 1800-255-0000, or send the information online at the i-Witness website.

For scam-related advice, the public can call the anti-scam helpline on 1800-722-6688 or visit the Scam Alert website.

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