MAN ARRESTED FOR A SERIES OF CHINA OFFICIALS IMPERSONATION SCAMS

The Police have arrested a 26-year-old Chinese National for his suspected involvement in a series of China Officials Impersonation Scams.

Between 27 February 2020 and 5 March 2020, the Police received separate reports of such scams from five victims. The victims reported that they had received phone calls from scammers claiming to be from Chinese authorities and were told that they were being investigated for transnational crimes. The victims were then instructed by the scammers to surrender money to a male “agent”for further investigations at various locations around Singapore. A total amount of S$262,080 was lost by the victims.

Through follow-up investigations, officers from the Commercial Affairs Department and Ang Mo Kio Police Division established the identity of the man whom the victims had passed their money to and arrested him on 5 March 2020 for the offence of dishonestly receiving stolen property. The offence carries a jail term of up to five years, a fine, or both. Investigations against the man are ongoing.

The Police advise members of the public to take the following precautions when they receive unsolicited calls to surrender money to others in order to avoid criminal investigations:

• Ignore such calls and the caller’s instructions. No government agency will demand payment through an undocumented medium like a telephone call or other social messaging platforms (WeChat or Facebook), or ask you for personal banking information such as your internet banking passwords.

• For foreign residents receiving calls from persons claiming to be Police officers or government officials from your home country, please call your Embassy/High Commission to verify the claims of the caller.

• Refrain from giving out personal information and bank details, whether on a website or to callers over the phone. Personal information and bank details such as internet bank account usernames and passwords, OTP codes from tokens, are useful to criminals. Do not make any funds transfer at the behest of such callers.

• Call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before you act. Do not be pressured by the caller to act impulsively.

• To seek scam-related advice, you may call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg.

The Police would also like to warn members of the public not to collect money from other individuals, on the behalf of unsolicited callers claiming to be officers from law enforcement agencies. Such callers are most likely scammers, and members of the public who act on their instructions will be arrested and investigated.

Source: Singapore Police Force