In 4 days, anti-scam operation stops 1,100 victims from losing more than $5m
A four-day operation conducted by The Anti-Scam Centre (ASC) of the Singapore police, in collaboration with six banks, prevented losses of more than $5.1 million from more than 1,100 victims.
The police even managed to stop one scam victim from committing suicide, after he had become so distressed upon realising he had been cheated.
In a statement on Saturday, the police said the operation took place from Nov 14 to 17, and involved CIMB, DBS, HSBC, OCBC, Standard Chartered and UOB.
Officers from the ASC and seven police land divisions worked with staff from the six banks located in the same area and conducted “live interventions” by analysing fund flows of more than 90 bank accounts that came up in investment and job scam reports.
They engaged unsuspecting victims who had been transferring monies into these scam-tainted bank accounts.
More than 1,100 unsuspecting victims were alerted that they could have fallen prey to scams and were advised to stop any further monetary transfers.
Many of the victims realised they had been deceived only after they were engaged and convinced by the police.
Scam proceeds amounting to more than $1.5 million were seized, and the police prevented these victims from financial losses amounting to more than $5.1 million.
The police added that during one of the phone engagements, a job scam victim became distressed when he realised that he was cheated of more than $5,000, which he had borrowed from friends.
“Sensing that something was amiss, police officers proceeded to the victim’s residence to check on him and managed to dissuade him from self-harm,” said the police.
The police urged members of the public to be wary when receiving unsolicited offers of investment or job opportunities via social media platforms or chat applications, and to understand that investments with high returns will come with high risks.
Members of the public should always check with a licensed financial adviser before making any investment, and not be enticed by “jobs” that promise the convenience of working from home and unusually high salaries for relatively easy responsibilities, said the police.
“No legitimate business will require employees to utilise their own bank accounts to receive monies on the business’ behalf,” the police added.
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline on 1800-722-6688. Anyone with information on such scams may call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness