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Singapore

Police warn of scammers impersonating intellectual property officers

Police warn of scammers impersonating intellectual property officers

File photo of someone using a phone and looking at a computer.

SINGAPORE: The police warned on Tuesday (Apr 12) of a new scam where victims are targeted via spoofed calls by people pretending to be officers from the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).

Several members of the public lodged reports in April, said police in a news release. No losses have been incurred so far.

In these cases, victims would get unsolicited phone calls from someone claiming to be an IPOS officer, sometimes with a spoofed IPOS hotline number - 6339 8616.

The caller would inform the victims that they were under investigation for offences involving trademark or copyright infringement. 

Victims who denied the allegations would then be told that their details had been misused, and that they were required to report the matter to the law enforcement authorities.

The victims would then be transferred to another caller to make the report and would be asked to provide personal information such as passport details, home address and social media account login details. 

In another variant, the victims would first be instructed to go to the IPOS office.

If they were unable to make the trip down, they would be asked to provide their personal details to facilitate investigations.

The victims would only realise that they had been scammed when they called the IPOS official hotline to enquire about the call received.

The police advised members of the public to take the following precautions:

  • Ignore such calls and the caller’s instructions. IPOS will not request personal details, inform about infringement cases, direct you to make a payment nor contact you regarding any overseas IP filing over the phone, SMS or emails
  • Never disclose your personal particulars to anyone, including family and friends
  • When in doubt, please contact IPOS directly at ipos_enquiry [at] ipos.gov.sg or at 6339 8616

Those with information on such crimes can call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online. All information will be kept strictly confidential.

For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688. 

Source: CNA/ic(gr)
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