SINGAPUR – On April 10, 2018, a Chinese student living in Singapore received a phone call from a woman claiming to be a Singaporean police (SPF) who said she was under suspicion of money laundering.
Being deceived to believe in it, the 20-year-old student who did not want to reveal his identity co-operated with the "investigation."
"She transferred me to a number that had" 110 ", which is China's police number," she told The Times, on Tuesday (April 23rd).
The "Chinese officer" on the phone told her to tell him where she was to "show she was not running away" from one of her accused deeds.
The next day, she was instructed to write down her bank details in what he said was a SPF website. She was told to keep the case confidential so they could catch the real culprit.
But at the moment she gave her a one-time password and access to her bank account, she received a statement that $ 22,500, all her savings earned from work in Singapore, were transferred. Her suspicions were raised when she was told not to go into her bank account. She realized she had been misguided.
The disciple was one of the four who became the victim of fraud representing Chinese officials.
Last Wednesday, Chien Yu Hung and Lin Yu Fan, who acted as mule in the money transfer fraud, were sentenced to 28 months and 22 months in prison for money laundering respectively.
Fraud representing Chinese officials increased by 60.6% to 302 cases in 2018, from 188 cases in 2017. In the first three months of 2019, there were 45 reports of such frauds.
Police advise the public to be alert to the calls of people who claim to be officials, especially of a foreign country, and to be suspicious of callers who do not give enough information to themselves to verify their identity.
The public should never give bank details, credit card numbers, token OTP codes, or passport numbers to strangers on the phone.
Those seeking advice can call the 1800 722 6688 helpline to check if the invitation received is an alleged fraud.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Reproduction permission required.
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