Singapore police arrest 2 men for impersonating police in scam calls

The authorities say that one victim was cheated of about S$50,000.

Singapore police alerts public on rising phone scams impersonating police officers
Man speaks on a mobile phone Reuters (Representational Image)

Singapore police have arrested two men aged 22 and 32, on Friday for allegedly impersonating police and scamming victims, one of whom lost S$50,000.

In a press release, the police said they received three separate reports on Wednesday from victims who had received calls from people claiming to be police officers. They were told that they were being investigated for money laundering offences.

In one of those cases, a 27-year-old victim was given a link to a fake foreign law enforcement agency website, and instructed to key in her Internet banking details. The victim also revealed her one-time-password from her Internet banking dongle to the impersonator on the phone. Later, the victim found that S$50,000 had been transferred to two unknown bank accounts.

Two other victims, aged 21 and 24, were also misled by the impersonators into believing that their bank accounts were used for money laundering. The victims were instructed to withdraw money deposited into their accounts and hand over the cash to one of the two suspects, who pretended to have been sent by the police.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) investigated the matter and identified the two suspects. They also found that the men were believed to be involved in at least another case in which the victim was cheated of about S$22,000.

The police warned the members of the public in an advisory to be aware of unsolicited calls, especially from unknown parties. "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," the police said.

The authorities also added that the public should ignore such calls and refrain themselves from revealing personal banking information, as well as ignore instructions to transfer money to unknown parties.

If convicted of dishonestly receiving stolen property, the each of the suspects might face a jail term of up to five years and a fine.