S’pore victim loses S$199,000 to a team of scammers who pretended to be SPF agents investigating a scam – Mothership.SG


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There has been a resurgence of a variant of government official impersonation scams in Singapore, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a press release on October 21.

In this variant of scam, scammers would pose as SPF agents to convince victims to transfer their money to third-party bank accounts.

In October 2022, the SPF said there were at least 24 victims with total losses amounting to at least S$1.5 million.

The largest sum lost by a single victim was at least S$199,000.

How victims were scammed

1. Receiving calls from pretend bank agents

According to SPF, members of the public would receive calls from purported bank officers asking for confirmation if they had purchased a high-value branded bag at Changi Airport with their credit card.

When the victim denied owning such a credit card or having made the purchase, the scammer informed him that the bank would investigate the unauthorized transactions.

The victim would also be advised to file a police report.

2. Transferred to a second scammer posing as an SPF officer

The victim would later be transferred to another scammer to help file the “police report”.

The second scammer would pose as an SPF officer and ask the victim to send a WhatsApp message to start filing a police report.

Once the victim makes contact with the second scammer via WhatsApp, they would receive an image of a fake SPF warrant card with the name of the alleged officer to gain their trust.

Picture through SPF.

The scammer would then ask the victim to provide their personal and banking details, including their bank account balances and credit card number(s), to file the police report.

Subsequently, the scammer would send the victim a fake police report via WhatsApp.

The scammer would also inform the victim that he was linked to a financial crime investigation and would be required to contact the investigator at a given contact number.

3. Told to contact a third scammer posing as an investigator

After contacting the third scammer posing as the investigator, the victim would be asked to transfer their money to a safe

account to prove his innocence.

The victim would be reassured that the sums would be returned to him after 48 hours.

Victims would only realize they had been scammed when they contacted their bank or the police through official channels to verify their case.

How to spot a scam

The FPS has advised the public to take the following precautions when asked to transfer funds to third party accounts for the purposes of criminal investigations:

  • Ignore the request. Real cops will never ask for control of your bank accounts, money or passwords. Real police officers will also not ask you to transfer your funds to another account, nor will they identify themselves by sending an image of the SPF warrant card on online platforms.
  • Refrain from giving out personal information and bank details to callers over the phone. Personal information and bank details, such as usernames and passwords for Internet banking accounts, or one-time password (OTP) codes for tokens, are useful to criminals. Do not transfer funds at the request of these callers.
  • Call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before taking action. Don’t be pressured by the caller to act impulsively.
  • If in doubt, call 999 or go to the police office at a neighborhood police center near you.

If you have information relating to such cases, SPF urges you to call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online here.

All information will be kept strictly confidential.

If you need urgent police assistance, you can dial ‘999’.

For advice on scams, you can call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688 or visit this site.

Better images via SPF and Unsplash.


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