SINGAPORE: A 60-year-old woman fell prey to an impersonation scam involving the use of a fake Singapore Police Force (SPF) website, and reported losing S$300,000 to the scheme, the police said on Thursday (Apr 5).
In a news release, the police said they received a report from the woman on Tuesday that the money had been transferred from her bank accounts without her knowledge.
She had earlier received a call from an unknown man who claimed to be a police officer, the police said.
The man alleged that the victim was involved in a money laundering case and asked for her personal details. She subsequently received a call from another unknown man who directed her to a webpage resembling the SPF website and he requested for her bank account details and One-Time Password.
The victim later found out that multiple transactions were made from her bank account without her consent. She also deleted the bank notifications after she was told to do so, the police said.
Police investigations are ongoing.
SPF said in the news release that the website is a phishing site in disguise, designed to extract useful personal information and privileged banking details of unsuspecting victims. This results in "extensive monetary losses" in most reported cases, they added.
The police highlighted in the news release that the official SPF website is www.police.gov.sg, and advised members of the public who receive unsolicited calls from unknown parties to ignore the calls and any instructions to remit or transfer money, and refrain from giving out personal information and bank details whether on the website or over the phone.
"No government agency will inform you to make a payment through a telephone call, especially to a third party's bank account," the police stated.
Members of the public with information related to such crimes can call the police hotline at 1 800 255 0000, or submit the information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.
They can also seek help by calling the anti-scam helpline at 1800 722 6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg.
There have been similar instances of scammers using fake SPF websites to cheat their victims of money. In December last year, for example, a 45-year-old woman lost S$31,500 and a 20-year-old man lost S$5,600 to scammers using similar tactics.