Scammers now impersonating staff from intellectual property office: Police

In the latest scams, victims reported receiving unsolicited phone calls from a caller claiming to be an Ipos officer. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A new phone scam has surfaced where scammers impersonate officers from the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (Ipos), said the police on Tuesday (April 12).

In a statement, the police said that they have received reports from the public of scammers approaching victims via calls purporting to be from the Ipos hotline number, 6339-8616.

The police added that no losses have been reported yet.

This comes one day after a similar scam where victims received unsolicited phone calls from individuals claiming to be bank employees and were told that their bank accounts had been misused and that they were under investigation for money laundering.

The phone numbers of these calls often contain a +65 prefix, suggesting that the calls were made from overseas.

In the latest scams, victims reported receiving unsolicited phone calls from a caller claiming to be an Ipos officer.

The caller would tell the victim he was under investigation for offences involving trademark or copyright infringement.

Victims who denied the allegations would then be told that their details had been misused and that they had to report the matter to the authorities.

The call would then be transferred to another person claiming to be in law enforcement, to whom the victims had to file a report.

The victims would be asked to provide their personal information such as passport details, home address and social media account login.

In another case, victims were instructed to go to Ipos' office, and if they could not do so, they were to provide their personal details to facilitate investigations.

These victims would realise they had been scammed only after calling Ipos' official hotline to find out more about the "investigations".

Ipos has advised members of the public to take the following precautions:

  • Ignore such calls and the caller's instructions. Ipos does not ask for personal details, inform a member of the public about infringement cases, direct him to make a payment nor contact him about any overseas IP filing over the phone, SMS or e-mail;
  • Never disclose personal particulars to anyone, including family and friends;
  • When in doubt, contact Ipos directly at or on 6339-8616.

Members of the public who have information related to such crimes should call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000, or submit it online.

For more information on scams, visit this website or call the Anti-Scam Hotline on 1800-722-6688.

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