3 arrested over scams involving impersonation of local High Court official, China police

3 arrested over scams involving impersonation of local High Court official, China police

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A man talks on his phone in Singapore's Central Business District.

SINGAPORE: Three men were arrested on Wednesday (Jun 27) for different impersonation scams.

One of the scams involved a 31-year-old Singaporean who received a phone call from someone who claimed to be a High Court official.

The 31-year-old was told that he was being investigated "for transnational money laundering offences in China" and that he had to hand over S$5,000 to a police inspector at Kallang Wave Mall for investigation.

But on his way to the mall, the victim felt something was amiss and called the police.

Officers subsequently arrested a 20-year-old Malaysian man at the mall. He was found with S$47,200, believed to be from other victims of the same scam.

In a separate case, a 53-year-old Chinese national received calls from an unknown man who claimed to be from the China police.

"He was informed that he was implicated in a money laundering case and had to provide his bank account information and credentials over the phone for investigations," said the police in a news release. "The victim complied."

He then received a one-time password on his phone and read it out to the caller.

After the call ended, the man discovered that S$50,000 had been transferred out of his bank account to an unknown account. That was when he realised he had been cheated.

Officers subsequently arrested two Taiwanese men - aged 22 and 27 - along Geylang Road. Preliminary investigations revealed they had received criminal proceeds linked to the scam, said police.

All three men arrested will be charged on Friday with dishonestly receiving stolen property. 

If convicted, each could be jailed for up to five years, fined or both.

The arrests come just days after the Supreme Court issued an advisory warning the public to be aware of suspicious calls from people claiming to be court officers summoning them to attend court. 

Earlier this month, two men were charged for their alleged involvement in a series of China officials impersonation scams.

The police warned that impersonation scams "can take on many variations", and advised the public to take precautions when receiving calls asking them to transfer money or to provide personal information.

The police said members of the public should ignore such calls and not give out personal information and bank details. They also should not make any fund transfers if told to do so by these callers.

For scam-related advice, the public can call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg.

Source: CNA/nc