MAS warns of scam calls made in its name after big spike in reports on Thursday

In the past week, the Monetary Authority of Singapore received five to 10 reports daily on phone scams made in its name. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Nearly 100 people called the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Thursday (March 5) to report phone scams made in its name, a surge of at least 10 times that prompted the central bank to issue a warning on the same day.

In the past week, MAS received just five to 10 reports daily on such scam calls, which came to its attention in late February.

Thursday's alert comes after MAS warned on Feb 25 of these scams, in which scammers impersonated the authority's staff through phone calls or calls made via mobile applications such as Viber of WhatsApp.

The authority assured that its officers will never ask members of the public for their personal banking information or log-in credentials.

It also advised the public not to give out their personal information, such as Internet banking or credit card details, bank account personal identification numbers, personal identification numbers (PINs), and one-time passwords (OTPs).

Those who receive such suspicious calls should report the matter to MAS at or call the police on 1800-255-0000.

In late February, The Straits Times reported that the number of banking scam calls and messages in January was two and a half times more than that reported in the last three months of 2019 combined.

Figures obtained from the police then showed that there were 105 cases in January, and only 38 in October, November and December last year.

DBS, the largest bank in Singapore, also issued a statement last month following concerns that scammers have been impersonating its employees.

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