The Police would like to remind members of the public to remain vigilant against China Officials Impersonation Scams. Since January 2022, there have been at least 277 victims, with losses amounting to at least $30.3 million.
Victims would receive voice-recorded phone calls allegedly from the Ministry of Health, the High Court or other government agencies. When the victims followed the instructions on the call to make further contact, the call would be directed to scammers claiming to be a police officer. The scammers would inform the victims that they were being investigated for money laundering and other offences. The scammers would direct the victims to do any of the following:
- Provide their personal information and bank account information
- Open bank accounts
- Transfer money from their bank accounts to other bank accounts ostensibly for the purposes of Police investigations
- Report their movements daily
- Meet unknown subjects to hand over or collect fake documents from them
- Keep the investigations secret
Victims would only discover that they had been scammed when they realised that there were unauthorised transactions made from their bank accounts, or when the scammers did not return the money they had transferred for the purported “Police investigations”.
The Police would like to emphasise that overseas law enforcement agencies have no jurisdiction to conduct operations in Singapore, arrest anyone or ask members of the public to help with any form of investigations. The Police will never ask you to transfer money into another bank account for the purpose of investigations.
The Police would also like to advise members of the public to take the following precautions when they receive unsolicited calls claiming to be overseas law enforcement agencies:
- Beware of calls with the “+” prefix which originate from overseas;
- Ignore such calls and the caller’s instructions;
- Never share your Singpass and bank account login details and one-time password (OTP) with anyone, including family and friends. No government agency will instruct payment through undocumented media like a telephone call or other social messaging platforms, or ask you for personal banking information such as your Internet banking passwords;
- When in doubt, always verify the authenticity of the information with the official website or sources;
- Call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before you act. You may be overwhelmed by emotion and may err in your judgment. Do not be pressured by the caller to act impulsively; and
- Report any fraudulent transactions to your bank immediately.
If you have any information related to such crimes, please call the Police Hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. If you require urgent Police assistance, please dial ‘999’.
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688. 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
29 June 2022 @ 9:20 PM