phone call
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Singapore Police Force said that they have noticed a re-emergence of the phone impersonation scam and would receive fake calls from the scammers, claiming to be officers from the Supreme Court or staff from Singtel.

The police said in a news release that those scammers would tell them, a mobile number registered in their name was involved in a crime, there was a pending court case against them or they have committed a crime and for they need to assist in the investigation process.

In addition to that, the police said the scammer would also ask the recipient to provide personal details and particulars, including internet banking credentials and One-Time Passwords for investigation.

In some cases, the call would be transferred to another person, who would address himself as a Chinese police officer. The scammer would provide a copy of the fake arrest warrant from the China Police. If the recipient doesn't cooperate, these fake officers would also be threatened with imprisonment but soon the victims will find out that after providing all the details, their money has been transferred to unknown bank accounts.

The news release added that the scammers would instruct people to transfer the money by using Bitcoin vending machine. In such cases, the recipient would receive a QR code, what will be scanned at the vending machine before depositing the money.

To avoid being a victim of such scams, the police has advised people to take some precautions:

  • Don't panic – Ignore the calls and caller's instructions. No government agency will request for personal details or transfer of money over the phone or through automated voice machines. Call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before you act. You may be overwhelmed by emotion and err in your judgment.
  • Don't believe – Scammers may use Caller ID spoofing technology to mask the actual phone number and display a different number. Calls that appear to be from a local number may not actually be made from Singapore. If you receive a suspicious call from a local number, hang up, wait a while, then call the number back to check the validity of the request.
  • Don't give – Do not provide your name, identification number, passport details, contact details, bank account or credit card details. Such information is useful to criminals.

If anyone wants to know more about these scams, they can visit scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688 and in case of urgent police assistance, people can dial 999. In case of submitting information on such scam, people can also call the police at 1800-255 0000 or submit the details online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.

"Help spread the word and share this advisory with your family and friends to prevent them from being the next victim of the scam," police said.