The Police would like to alert the public to a new scam modus operandi where scammers would approach their victims via spoofed calls and would impersonate officers from the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS). In April 2022, several members of the public lodged reports, and no losses were incurred yet.
In these cases, the victims would receive unsolicited phone calls from a caller who claimed to be an officer working at IPOS, sometimes with a spoofed IPOS’ hotline number (6339 8616). The caller would inform the victims that they were under investigation for offences involving trademark or copyright infringement. Victims who denied the allegations would then be informed that their details had been misused and they were required to report the matter to the law enforcement authorities. The victims would then be transferred to another caller to make the report and would be asked to provide their personal information such as passport details, home address and social media account login details. In another variant, the victims would first be instructed to proceed to IPOS’ office and would then be asked to provide their personal details to facilitate investigations, if they were unable to make the trip down. The victims would only realise that they had been scammed when they called IPOS’ official hotline to enquire about the call received.
Members of the public are advised to take the following precautions:
- Ignore such calls and the caller’s instructions. IPOS will not request personal details, inform about infringement cases, direct you to make a payment nor contact you regarding any overseas IP filing over the phone, SMS or emails;
- Never disclose your personal particulars to anyone, including family and friends;
- When in doubt, please contact IPOS directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 6339 8616.
If you have information related to such crimes, 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 more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688. Anyone with information on such scams may call the Police Hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
12 April 2022 @ 6:00 PM