The Police would like to alert the members of the public to the re-emergence of a variant of Government Officials Impersonation Scam (GOIS), where scammers allegedly posed as officers from the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and presented a fake SPF warrant card. Between January to July 2021, there were 16 victims cheated of such scams. The largest sum cheated in a single case during this period was $1.7 million.
In this variant, the victims had received unsolicited robocalls who claimed to be from the Singapore High Court. These calls were supposedly transferred to a “police officer”, who informed the victims that they were being investigated for money-laundering activities. The victims were instructed to download the “LINE” or WhatsApp messaging platform for further communication with the “police officer”. The victims would then purportedly be shown a fake SPF warrant card and a fake letter indicating that the victims were under investigation. For LINE, the victims would also be added into a chat group named ‘Reporting Platform’. The victims would then be instructed to surrender their monies for investigations by making transfers to various bank accounts controlled by the scammers. The victims were allegedly promised that the money transferred to these bank accounts would be returned to them upon completion of investigations. The victims only discovered that they had been scammed when the scammer requested for further fund transfer(s) and failed to return the earlier transfers.
The Police would like to emphasise that the Police will not instruct members of the public to transfer money to designated bank accounts for investigations. Police officers will also not identify themselves with the SPF warrant card on online platforms.
The public is advised to take the following precautions when they receive unsolicited robocalls to surrender money or banking credentials to others in order to avoid criminal investigations:
- Ignore such robocalls and the caller’s instructions. No local government agency will contact the members of public using robocalls;
- No local government agency will demand payment through an undocumented medium like a telephone call or other social messaging platforms, demand that you surrender cash to unnamed persons, or ask you for personal banking information such as your internet banking passwords;
- For foreign residents receiving calls from persons claiming to be Police officers or government officials from your home country, please call your Embassy/High Commission to verify the claims of the caller;
- 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 and passwords, or One-Time Password (OTP) codes from tokens, are useful to criminals. Do not make any fund transfer(s) at the behest of such callers;
- Call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before you act. Do not be pressured by the caller to act impulsively; and
- If in doubt, call ‘999’ or approach a police office at the Neighbourhood Police Centre near you.
If you have information related to such cases, please call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. Please dial ‘999’ if you require urgent Police assistance.
For scam-related advice, please call the National Crime Prevention Council’s Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg. Join the ‘Spot the Signs. Stop the Crimes’ campaign at www.scamalert.sg/fight by signing up as an advocate to receive up-to-date messages and share them with your family and friends. Together, we can help stop scams and prevent our loved ones from becoming the next victim.
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
02 August 2021 @ 4:05 PM