Crime. Crime never changes. While most of us have been eagerly awaiting news on what happened to Beow Tan Hiong, it seems like the criminal elements in our society have been pretty busy; they’ve now move on to a new scam where they pretend to be police officers from the Singapore Police Force.
I guess nothing is sacred to these people. Pretty soon we’ll probably be seeing fake ambulances trying to extort people on the way to the hospital or fake firemen forcing you to pay money before they help.
The Singapore Police Force has put out an advisory warning the public against these fakers trying to worm your personal info out of you.
It seems like their modus operandi is to hook their victims via phone and online, getting them to download messaging apps like LINE or WhatsApp.
They start off by calling their victims, posing as somebody from the Singapore High Court. Once the victim answers, they’ll be transferred to the scammers (posing as policemen), who’ll tell them they’re being investigated for money laundering and direct them to download the above apps to proceed.
Once on either app, the ‘officer’ will contact their victim and try to pass themselves off as a legit officer by showing an image of their warrant card (that’s the ID card local police officers use).
If your alarm bells aren’t ringing as to why you’d need to download an app instead of being called down to the station to assist, the next step should. The scammers will then ask for personal details of everybody in the family including their bank account info.
Sometimes, these scammers would make their victims transfer money to specific accounts (real smart boys, leave a paper trail). In extreme cases (where the victim is extra gullible probably), the SPF reports that they’ve made the victims surrender control of both their own personal bank AND SingPass accounts.
It goes without saying that real officers will NEVER make you reveal sensitive details on a messaging platform. If you’re contacted by these scammers, make sure to report them to the real policemen.