Police warn of scammers claiming to be from GIC and offering investment deals

The police advised the public to not interact with any links or open any attachments from anyone claiming to be from GIC. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - A new type of investment scam has emerged, with fraudsters impersonating representatives of sovereign wealth fund GIC on group chats on messaging platform Telegram.

People would receive a Telegram invitation to join a group chat named "Government of Singapore Investment Corporation", said the Singapore Police Force on Thursday (April 28).

The scammers running the group chat would claim to be from GIC and offer lucrative investment packages.

To reinforce the ruse, scammers would use the GIC logo and claim to be investors who have successfully withdrawn the profits made from their investment packages.

Those who are keen to invest in the packages are then directed to provide their personal particulars and bank account number to sign up for the packages.

Then they would be asked to transfer money into bank accounts provided by the scammers.

They would realise it is a scam only when they do not receive the expected returns or cannot withdraw their investments.

GIC manages Singapore’s foreign reserves and does not provide any investment services to the public, said GIC in a statement on Thursday.
“Please be forewarned that any attempt to solicit investments from any member of the public using GIC’s name, brand, or both, is a fraud or scam.”

GIC said it is not responsible for transactions that occur as a result of any such fraud or scam, adding that there is existing information on its website (https://www.gic.com.sg/caution-against-fraud-and-scams/) warning the public of such frauds or scams.

The sovereign wealth fund also encouraged the public to access GIC websites only via its official global website (www.gic.com.sg) if they are in doubt, and to make a police report if they suspect they have been exposed to such scams.

The police advised the public to not react, reply or click on any links or open any attachments from anyone or any organisation claiming to be from GIC, or affiliated with GIC, which is no longer known as the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation.

Scammers would invite people on messaging app Telegram to join a group chat named "Government of Singapore Investment Corporation". PHOTOS: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

The police also advised the public to adopt the following measures to avoid falling for scams:

- Be aware of the signs of scams, which include investment products with attractive high yields, unexpected friend requests online, urgent requests for fund transfers, payment in shopping credits or gift cards, or one-time password requests

- Adopt a mindset of healthy scepticism

- Always pause and think before taking any action. Scammers often take advantage of the vulnerability in human behaviour, such as fear or greed, to lead victims into making transactions or fall prey to scams

- Seek advice from family and friends before making any online transactions

- Safeguard personal information such as bank account details and passwords

Those who suspect they have been scammed can lodge a police report online or at the nearest neighbourhood police centre or police post.

For more information on scams, visit this website or call the anti-scam hotline on 1800-722-6688.

Those with information on such scams may call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at this website.

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