The Police have arrested three men, aged between 20 and 44, for their suspected involvement in two cases of impersonation of police officer scam.

In both cases, the victims had received calls from unknown persons who claimed to be police officers. The victims were told that they were being investigated by the Police for money laundering and scam offences. The calls were then transferred to unknown persons who identified themselves to be police officers from a foreign country.

For the first report lodged on 22 March 2017, the 31-year-old victim was provided a link to an e-service website purportedly from the Singapore Police Force, The victim was then instructed to key in his internet banking credentials on the website and also disclosed the One-Time-Password (OTP) from his Internet banking dongle to the impersonator. Subsequently, the victim discovered that his bank account was accessed illegally without his knowledge and about S$35,000 had been transferred to an unknown bank account.

For the second report lodged on 27 March 2017, the 47-year-old victim was asked to apply for an Internet banking dongle and also provide her internet banking credentials to the impersonator. Subsequently, the victim discovered that her bank account was accessed illegally without her knowledge and about S$34,000 had been transferred to an unknown bank account.

Following the reports, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department conducted extensive investigative enquiries. The identities of the three suspects were subsequently established by the officers and the trio were arrested on 27 March 2017. Preliminary investigations revealed that they are believed to be involved in at least three other similar cases in which the victims had suffered losses amounting to a total of about S$90,000.

Two of the suspects, aged 20 and 22, will be charged in Court on 29 March 2017 with the offence of Dishonestly Receiving Stolen Property under Section 411(1) of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, which carries an imprisonment term of up to five years, or with fine, or with both. Investigations against the third suspect are still ongoing.

Director CID (Covering), Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Sekher Warrier said, I wish to commend all the officers involved for the hard work in tracking down the suspects. Offenders who think that they can hide behind the anonymity of the internet will be brought to justice swiftly.

The Police would like to clarify that the official SPF website can be accessed at Members of the public are also advised to take 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 instructions 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