IRAS warns of scam emails telling recipients their accounts 'red flagged', unable to receive millions in funds
SINGAPORE: The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) has warned the public to ignore emails purportedly sent by the tax authority, telling recipients that their bank accounts have been blocked from receiving a large sum of money in 'expected funds'.
To rectify this, recipients would have to obtain a letter of confirmation or buy an approval pass, according to the instructions in the email.
"IRAS would like to advise that the authority will not ask you to obtain any kind of approval pass to facilitate a funds transfer," said the tax authority in an advisory on Friday (Jan 21)
The scam email, signed off in the name of the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, tells recipients that their account has been "red flagged" by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) from "receiving the expected funds of $20,000,000".
It goes on to say that a "written letter from the Bill Gate (sic) foundation" is needed to verify the origin of the funds.
Alternatively, recipients may "buy an international approval funds pass which will be accepted by MAS".
IRAS advised members of the public not to respond, provide any personal details, make any payment or follow any instructions by the senders.
For recipients who have been affected by the scam, they were advised to lodge a police report.
The scam email related to IRAS is the latest in a series of fraudulent schemes, the most prominent being a phishing scam targeting OCBC Bank customers.
Victims had received an SMS from scammers posing as the bank and claiming there were issues with their accounts or credit cards.
Nearly 470 people have lost at least S$8.5 million since December last year.