Victims lose $14,000 to police impersonation scams between January and August

   In one case, a victim received a call from someone claiming to be from the Criminal Investigation Department of the Singapore Police Force through a smartphone app.
In one case, a victim received a call from someone claiming to be from the Criminal Investigation Department of the Singapore Police Force through a smartphone app.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - Victims of six police impersonation scams were cheated of at least $14,000 from January to August this year, police said in a statement on Wednesday (Sept 25).

In one case, a victim received a call on the Viber smartphone application from someone claiming to be from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Singapore Police Force (SPF).

The victim was told that her debit card was outdated and would be blocked if she failed to update it. The caller then made a video call to the victim and asked her to show him the front and back of her debit card.

The victim complied and was subsequently asked to disclose the one-time password (OTP) she received. Unauthorised transactions were then made from her bank account.

In other cases, the callers also claimed to be from the "CID Department of Singapore" or the "CID Department Bank Updating", neither of which are departments in SPF. The victims were then asked for their credit or debit card or bank details.

None of these calls were made by the police.

Police advised members of the public not to panic and to ignore calls and the caller's instructions. They should not believe scammers who may be using spoofing technology to mask the actual phone number and display a different number. They should not give their personal information to strangers, police added.

Those who wish to provide information about scams may call the police on 1800-255-0000, or send the information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness

For scam-related advice, they can call the anti-scam helpline on 1800-722-6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg