CPIB warns of impersonators on WhatsApp asking people to pay fines

CPIB warns of impersonators on WhatsApp asking people to pay fines

The WhatsApp app logo is seen on a smartphone in this illustration
The WhatsApp app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration taken Sep 15, 2017. (Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Files)

SINGAPORE: Some members of the public were recently asked to pay fines based on fake documents sent via WhatsApp purporting to be from the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), the agency said on Wednesday (Nov 18).

The documents falsely indicated that certain bank accounts of individuals, companies and third parties would be "frozen within 24 hours for investigation into suspected money laundering offences", said CPIB in an advisory.

The documents came with images of the CPIB logo, with some also featuring a sign-off by a CPIB officer.

"The CPIB has reviewed the documents and found them to be fictitious in nature," said the agency.

"Some tell-tale signs in the documents include spelling and grammatical errors."

READ: ‘It’s a judgment call’ - How banks handle scam cases

Members of the public who have received messages containing purported CPIB documents which may be "dubious in nature" are advised to call the CPIB's hotline at 1800-376-0000 for assistance to verify the authenticity of the documents.

"Do not remit or transfer any money for any transactions based on instructions which may be included with or in such documents," said the agency.

They should also "refrain from providing personal information and bank details to the sender", it added.

The CPIB said it took "a serious view of the impersonation of public agencies for undesirable or scam purposes".

Source: CNA/jt

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