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4th suspect arrested over DHL phone scam

SINGAPORE — A fourth suspect has been arrested in relation to a DHL parcel scam, police said on Tuesday (July 19).

Illustration of a phone scammer. TODAY file photo

Illustration of a phone scammer. TODAY file photo

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SINGAPORE — A fourth suspect has been arrested in relation to a DHL parcel scam, police said on Tuesday (July 19).

Last Thursday, three suspects — a 21-year-old man and two 22-year-old men — were arrested following a police report filed earlier that day. The latest suspect is a 23-year-old man who was arrested on Monday.

The latest suspect was arrested after police received a report on July 4 about a woman who had lost S$36,000 in a phone scam. The victim, 32, had been told by a person posing as a DHL employee that she had a parcel containing illegal goods detained by the Chinese Customs. The call was then transferred to another person whose number was reflected in the woman’s caller ID as “999”.

The second person on the line identified himself as a police officer and subsequently asked the victim to provide her internet banking credentials, including the One-Time-Password (OTP) from her Internet banking dongle. Later, the victim discovered that her ibanking account was accessed illegally without her knowledge and about S$36,000 had been transferred to an unknown bank account.

Officers from the Criminal Investigation Department conducted extensive investigative probes and enquiries to identity the 23-year-old suspect. Preliminary investigations has revealed that the suspect is believed to be involved in at least five other similar cases in which the victims had suffered losses amounting to a total of about S$90,000.

The 23-year-old suspect will be charged in court on Wednesday. He faces a jail term of up to five years, or a fine, or with both.

Parcel scams involving people posing as Singapore or foreign officials or courier companies have been emerging here, with the police revealing last month that residents here have lost more than S$4 million since March to these scammers, who operate through phone calls. From March to June, more than 50 police reports were made about people impersonating government officials.

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