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Over S$3.9m lost in 4 months: Police warn of scammers impersonating S’pore High Court, Interpol officials

SINGAPORE — More than S$3.9 million has been lost this year by victims of a new scam where swindlers pose as officials from the Singapore High Court or Interpol asking for payments to settle concocted offences, the police said on Wednesday (April 21).

A screengrab of a fake Interpol identity card and WhatsApp message used by scammers.

A screengrab of a fake Interpol identity card and WhatsApp message used by scammers.

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SINGAPORE — More than S$3.9 million has been lost this year by victims of a new scam where swindlers pose as officials from the Singapore High Court or Interpol asking for payments to settle concocted offences, the police said on Wednesday (April 21).

The scammers told the victims that they were being investigated for money laundering activities and referred the victims to an Interpol officer called “Eric Wong Teng Hui”, the police said.

Through messaging applications WhatsApp or Line, the scammers would then send the victims a photo of a fake Interpol international police pass.

They also sent victims a fabricated letter from the Singapore Police Force, signed off by an Inspector Yong Tian Ming, which would have the victims’ names and addresses printed on it.

The scammers would then ask the victims to provide identification documents and surrender money via bank transfer pending investigations. The victims were told that the money would be returned afterwards.

In some cases, the victims were also asked to hand over control of their bank accounts and SingPass accounts as part of the purported investigations. SingPass is the national passcode system for e-government services.

More than 40 reports from victims had been received between January and April this year by the police, who said that it was a new variant of scams involving the impersonation of government officials.

They advised members of the public to ignore unsolicited calls where the callers ask them to surrender money or banking credentials in order to avoid criminal investigations. The public should also refrain from giving out personal and banking details whether on a website or over the phone.

“No local government agency will demand payment through an undocumented medium like a telephone call or other social messaging platforms, demand that you surrender cash to unnamed persons, or ask you for personal banking information such as your internet banking passwords,” the police said.

The public may call 1800-255-0000 or visit www.police.gov.sg/iwitness to provide any information related to such scams, or call 1800-722-6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg for scam-related advice by the National Crime Prevention Council.

In January, the police warned of swindlers impersonating government officials and claiming that there were issues with the victims’ bank accounts and asking them to hand over their banking and personal particulars under the guise of verification.

Related topics

police Interpol scam impersonation scam bank

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