The Police have observed a re-emergence of the phone impersonation scam where members of the public received phone calls that were purportedly made by courier companies and/or government officials for involvement in the following cases:

A parcel under their name containing illegal goods was detained by the Chinese Customs. The call was then transferred to another person who identified himself to be from the Police; and/or

Allegation that they had committed a criminal offence and were required to assist in criminal investigation.

The scammer would then direct the recipient to provide their personal details and particulars, including internet banking credentials and One-Time Passwords (OTP), to the Government Officer for investigation purposes. The recipient might also be threatened with imprisonment if they did not cooperate. Subsequently, the recipients would discover that monies had been transferred from their bank account to other unknown bank accounts.

The Police would like to advise members of the public to take precautions when they receive unsolicited calls, especially from unknown parties:

a. Ignore the calls. The scammers may use Caller ID spoofing technology to mask the actual phone number and display a different number. Calls that appear to be from a local number may not actually be made from Singapore. If you receive a suspicious call from a local number, hang up, wait five minutes, then call the number back to check the validity of the request.

b. Do not follow the caller's instruction and do not give out personal information and bank details, whether on the website or to callers over the phone. Personal information and bank details such as internet bank account usernames and passwords, OTP codes from tokens, are useful to criminals.

If you wish to provide any information, please call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. If you require urgent Police assistance, please dial '999'.

To seek scam-related advice, you may call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg. Help spread the word and share this advisory with your family and friends to prevent them from being the next victim of scam.

Source: Singapore Police Force