Beware of scam calls claiming to be from government agencies

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Members of the public are reminded to beware of the re-emergence of phishing scams where scammers would request e-wallets with information collected from victims.

The notice comes after police observed at least 1,200 cases of phishing scams since December 2021.

Victims would receive unsolicited calls through messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Viber or IMO. They would then speak to callers who claimed to be from a government agency such as the Singapore Police Force (SPF) or the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

These callers often displayed the official insignia or picture of officers from these government agencies as their profile picture, to reinforce their ruse.

In some cases, the caller would initiate a video call through these messaging apps while dressed in a uniform similar to that worn by FPS officers.

During the conversation with the scammers, the victims would be asked to provide their personal details, banking credentials and one-time password (OTP) for verification purposes or to help with investigations.

Using the information provided by the victims, the crooks would then create an e-wallet using apps such as DBS PayLah!, Singtel Dash or GrabPay on behalf of the victims, and top up said e-wallet via the victim’s bank account. victim.

In some cases, victims were told to top up e-wallets with cash at AXS machines or convenience stores.

Victims would later receive notifications informing them that various transactions have been made from their bank account to their e-wallet and would only realize that they have been scammed by contacting the banks to verify these transactions.

Police stressed that these calls were not made by police officers, adding, “Government agencies will never contact members of the public via messaging apps to obtain your personal information, banking credentials or OTPs.”

The public is advised to take the following precautions when receiving unsolicited calls via phone or messaging applications:

  • Ignore the instructions. No government agency will obtain personal information through a telephone call;

  • Never disclose your personal or internet bank details including NRIC, NRIC issue date and OTP to anyone;

  • Always verify the authenticity of the information by contacting the relevant government agencies via their official hotline; and

  • Immediately report any fraudulent transactions to your bank.

If you have information relating to such crimes or have any doubts, please call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.

For urgent police assistance, call ‘999’

More information on scams can be found at www.scamalert.sg or via the anti-scam hotline at 1800-722-6688.

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