SINGAPORE: Two Taiwanese men, aged 23 and 25, were arrested for their part in a scam involving the impersonation of a foreign police officer, the police said on Wednesday (Aug 9).
Police received a report from a 31-year-old woman last Friday, who said she received a call from a person who claimed to be a police officer.
She was told that she was being investigated for money laundering and had the call transferred to another person, who identified himself as a police officer from another country.
The victim was told to go to a website link provided by the impersonators, and to enter her bank credentials there.
She later discovered that her bank account had been illegally accessed without her knowledge and that about S$45,000 had been transferred to an unknown bank account.
Investigators identified the suspects and arrested them on Tuesday. They are also believed to be involved in six other similar cases and had scammed their victims of about S$100,000.
The suspects will be charged on Thursday. If found guilty, they face up to five years in jail, a fine or both.
Police also urged the public to take the following measures if they receive unsolicited calls:
- Ignore the calls or alternatively, hang up if it is a suspicious number and call the number back to verify the validity of the request.
- Ignore instructions to transfer money; government agencies will not inform you to make a payment to a third-party account through a phone call.
- Refrain from giving personal information like bank details.
- Call a friend or the police if you are in doubt.
Police added that members of the public can take the following measures to avoid being used as money mules:
- Refrain from giving personal details like bank account details to strangers.
- Decline requests by acquaintances for money transfers.
- Report to the police and the bank if you have received unknown funds in your bank account.
- Ask anyone who claims to be a police officer for a warrant card.