SINGAPORE: Police issued an advisory on Tuesday (Jun 22) warning the public of a new scam variant in which scammers impersonate friends and ask for financial assistance from the victims.
The scams involve callers who use unknown numbers and would not identify themselves after the victims pick up, police said.
Instead, they would ask their victims to guess who they were and if their victims remembered them, which would make the victim think the caller was someone they knew.
“The victims would then reply the caller with the name of their friends whom they believe the caller could be,” said police.
“Thereafter, the caller would assume the identity of the said friend and would claim to have lost their handphone or changed their contact number.”
The caller would subsequently contact the victim to ask for a loan due to financial difficulties or having gotten in trouble with the law.
They would ask the victims to transfer the money to bank accounts they provided, which belonged to unknown individuals.
“Victims would only discover that they had been scammed when they contacted their friends and realised that (these friends) had not contacted the victims nor changed their contact number,” police said.
They advised members of the public to be aware of unusual requests, including those that appear to be from family members.
Police also asked the public to verify requests with their family and friends through alternative means such as physical meet-ups or using previously established contact details, and to never send money to people they do not know or have not met in person before.