SINGAPORE - An employee at a remittance company has helped a scammed victim recover $10,000.
Ms Xiao Qian Qin, who works at Chang Chen Zhong Guo Remittance, suspected something was amiss when she attended to the victim last Wednesday (Aug 31).
She informed her supervisor, who then notified the police. Due to her intervention, the victim's money, amounting to $10,000, was recovered.
The victim, a 25-year-old woman, received an automated message on Aug 28. She followed its instructions and pressed '9'.
The call was transferred to an operator who claimed to be from SingPost. She told the victim that she had sent a parcel containing illegal drugs.
The call was then transferred to another person claiming to be from the Shanghai police.
This person accused the victim of money laundering and threatened her with arrest by the authorities in Singapore if she did not turn up at an office.
She was then told to remit money to a bank account in China through several remittance companies.
Fortunately, the scammers' attempt was foiled by the remittance company.
"The Police would like to commend Miss Xiao for her timely intervention that helped in foiling the scam attempt," it said.
Police advised members of the public to take these precautions if they receive unsolicited calls:
- 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 instruction 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 websites or to callers over the phone. Personal information and bank details such as Internet bank account user names and passwords, OTP codes from tokens, are useful to criminals.
- Call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before you act. You may be overwhelmed by emotion and err in your judgment.