SINGAPORE: The Singapore Police Force (SPF) on Wednesday (Sep 12) warned the public to be wary of scams involving lucky draw winnings.
The police revealed in a news release that they had received at least 84 reports of lucky draw scams between October 2017 and July 2018.
The total amount cheated from the scams was about S$122,000, where the highest amount cheated was about S$34,400.
According to the police, the scammers' modus operandi involved making contact with a potential victim through the instant messaging application IMO.
The scammer, hiding behind the username World Winner, would then inform the victim that they had won some money in a lucky draw.
The victim would then be directed to transfer money or purchase iTunes gift cards before they could receive their winnings.
In one of the cases, a scammer impersonated a police officer.
Claiming to be an officer from the SPF, he told his victim that the latter's bank account was involved in an illegal transaction. And for investigation purposes, the victim had to provide his debit or credit card details, including the CVV number.
After complying with the "investigation", the victim received a text message, purportedly sent by the police, informing him that he would be rewarded with a sum of money. The victim then discovered that unauthorised transactions had been made from his bank account.
The police urged members of the public to be wary of such messages, especially if they have not recently participated in lucky draws.
Neither the police nor other governmental agencies would request for personal details or transfer of money over the phone, the SPF added in its news release.
"Do not give out your personal information, credit/debit card details and bank account details to unknown individuals."
They added that the public should ignore any instructions to make payments by remitting money of purchasing gift cards. Winning a lucky draw should not require any payments to be made to claim the prize.
The police added that anyone who wants to provide any information related to such crimes can call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. Those who need urgent police assistance can call 999.
To seek scam-related advice, members of the public may call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg.