On 7 November 2016 at about 5.30 pm, the Police were alerted to a suspected case of cheating by Miss Xue Liping, a staff from Hanshan Money Express. Officers from Central Division and Commercial Affairs Department responded to the case and ascertained that a 63-year-old victim had been scammed into remitting $15,000 to an overseas account.
Investigations revealed that on 7 November 2016, the victim had received a phone call claiming that she was being investigated by the China Police for involvement in illegal activities. The call was then transferred to someone claiming to be an Investigation Officer from China Police, who threatened the victim that she is being investigated alongside three hundred others for being involved in unlawful activities in China that required her to provide her personal banking details and transfer money to a China Bank account for investigation purposes. The victim complied and proceeded to remit the money at Hanshan Money Express.
At the remittance company, one of the staff, Ms Xue Liping who was attending to the victim, suspected something amiss when the victim could not provide reasonable answers to general queries and was also observed to be very nervous during the interview process, thereby adding further to Ms Xue's suspicion. As such, Ms Xue informed her supervisor who notified the Police and Commercial Affairs Department immediately. Through the swift responses of officers from Central Division and Commercial Affairs Department, coupled with the timely intervention of the staff of the remittance company, the transaction was halted successfully, leading to the full recovery of $15,000 belonging to the victim.
This case highlights the strong Police-Community partnership in crime fighting. The Police would like to commend Ms Xue Liping for her civic-mindedness and timely intervention that helped in foiling the scam, protecting another victim.
The Police would like to advise members of the public to adopt the following precautions when they receive unsolicited calls, especially from unknown parties:
Ignore the calls. 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.
Ignore instruction to remit or transfer money. No government agency will inform you to make a payment through a telephone call, especially to a third party's bank account.
Refrain from giving 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.
Call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before you act. You may be overwhelmed by emotion and err in your judgment.
If you have information related to such crime or if you are in doubt, please call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or dial 999 for urgent Police assistance.
Source: Singapore Police Force