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Police Advisory On The Trend Of Scams Involving Scammers Pretending To Be Friends

The Police would like to alert members of the public to a persistent trend observed in relation to a scam variant, which involves scammers contacting victims through phone calls, pretending to be their friends, and thereafter asking for financial assistance. Since January 2022, at least 1,098 victims have fallen prey, with total losses amounting to at least $4.5million.

In these cases, the victims received phone calls from unknown numbers with the “+” prefix. Upon answering these calls, the callers would not identify themselves and instead ask the victims to guess his identity with questions such as: “Guess who am I?” or “You can’t remember me?”. Thinking that they were acquainted, the victim would answer with the name of a friend who they thought most resembled the caller’s voice. The caller would then assume the identity of the said friend and would claim to have lost their mobile phone or changed their contact number. They would then ask the victim to update his number in his contact list. A few days later, the caller would contact the victim and ask for a loan to help them tide over their financial difficulties or trouble with the law. Victims would be provided with a local bank account or phone numbers to transfer money to. Victims would only discover that they had been scammed after contacting their actual friends whom the scammers had impersonated.

The Police would like to advise members of the public to adopt the following precautionary measures:

  • Beware of calls with the “+” prefix, especially if you are not expecting an international call;

  • Beware of unusual requests received from phone calls or messages, even if they appear to be from your family or friends; and

  • Verify whether the request is legitimate by checking with your family and friends through alternative means such as physical meet-ups, video calls or email other than using the contact details on your phone.

For more information on scams, members of the public can visit 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 All information will be kept strictly confidential.


29 August 2022 @ 1:00 PM
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