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Swift Intervention By Anti-Scam Centre And Partner Banks Prevented S$186,000 In Losses In Two Separate Scam Cases

In April 2024, the Anti-Scam Centre (ASC) worked with DBS Bank and UOB Bank in two separate scam cases, preventing a total of S$186,000 in losses for the victims. In these cases, the banks detected the suspicious transactions and worked quickly with the ASC to intercept the funds and engage the victims, successfully convincing them of the deceptive schemes they were entrenched in.

The quick detection and vigilance of the bank staff played a key role in securing and recovering funds from these scam arrangements.

Case 1 - Government Official Impersonation Scam

In the first case, a 64-year-old man attempted to transfer S$98,000 from his DBS bank account to a corporate account. The DBS Anti-Scam Team identified the transaction as suspicious and took immediate action to block and suspend the victim’s bank account from further activity. When DBS staff called the victim to verify the transaction, he declined to provide any explanation and insisted on proceeding with the transaction.

DBS escalated the case to the ASC officers who attempted to reach out to the victim via phone call. The victim remained hostile and refused to reveal any information. Undeterred, the ASC officers proceeded to the victim’s residence to engage him in person. Upon engagement by the ASC officers and verifying them to be real police officers, the victim claimed that he was following the instructions of a “Police Official” to make the transaction.

Subsequent investigation revealed that in mid-March 2024, the victim had received an unsolicited call from a ‘bank’. The victim was told that he was under investigation for a money laundering offence as his particulars had been used for a credit card application. The call was then transferred to a ‘Police Official’ who instructed the victim to make monetary transactions under the guise of inspecting his bank accounts. The victim made a first transfer of S$98,000 to a bank account provided by the scammer. Although the bank flagged this transaction and contacted the victim, the funds were ultimately released after the victim insisted on the transfer.

When the victim attempted to perform the second transfer of S$98,000 two days later, the transaction was immediately suspended by the bank. This timely action by DBS and ASC had prevented the second transfer from going through, preventing a loss of S$98,000 for the victim.   

Case 2 - Internet Love Scam

In the second case, a 58-year-old female victim visited the Toa Payoh branch and asked to transfer S$88,000 from her UOB account to an online friend. This red flag was picked up by the UOB bank staff who probed further on the transaction. As the victim was reluctant to provide more information, the bank blocked the transaction and referred the case to ASC.

ASC officers met up with the victim and found out that the victim had befriended a male friend on Facebook in December 2023, and they had been in communication with each other. The friend claimed to be working in an Oil & Gas company. In March 2024, the friend asked the victim for funds as he needed financial assistance for his ongoing projects. The victim then made a first transfer of S$85,000 to the online friend and was subsequently requested to transfer another S$88,000. The ASC officers took efforts to engage her, and eventually convinced her that she had fallen prey to scam. The quick intervention prevented a loss of S$88,000.

ACT Against Scams

Members of the public are advised to adopt the following precautionary measures:

  1. ADD - ScamShield App and security features (e.g. enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), Multifactor Authentication for banks and set up transaction limits for internet banking transactions, including PayNow).

  2. CHECK - For scam signs with official sources (e.g. ScamShield WhatsApp bot @ https://go.gov.sg/scamshield-bot, call the Anti-Scam Helpline on 1800-722-6688, or visit www.scamalert.sg). Refrain from giving out personal information and bank details, whether on a website or to callers over the phone. Personal information and bank details such as internet bank account usernames, passwords, OTP codes from tokens, are useful to criminals.

  3. TELL - Authorities, family, and friends about scams and do not be pressured by the caller to act impulsively. Report the number to WhatsApp and Telegram to initiate in-app blocking and report any fraudulent transactions to your bank immediately.

For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Helpline at 1800-722-6688. Fighting scams is a community effort. Together, we can ACT Against Scams to safeguard our community!

 

 


PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
14 May 2024 @ 10:20 PM
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