Anti-Scam Centre, banks prevent 82-year-old from losing $3.7m, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Anti-Scam Centre, banks prevent 82-year-old from losing $3.7m

An elderly man was targeted in three scam attempts over two months and would have lost a total of S$3.7 million, if not for the swift intervention of the police and his banks.

The 82-year-old was repeatedly victimised in February and March, but the Anti-Scam Centre (ASC), CIMB bank and Hong Leong Finance helped to reduce his losses and shield him from further harm.

The police said on March 19 that in the first case, several transactions in the victim’s bank account totalling $2.1 million were detected by CIMB’s fraud management team on Feb 6.

This prompted ASC and CIMB officers to visit him at his home. CIMB officers also suspended his bank account to prevent further losses.

Subsequently, $1.3 million was recovered, but $800,000 was lost to scammers and sent overseas before a police report was filed.

On Feb 7, ASC was alerted by the victim’s son that three cheques amounting to $1.2 million were issued by Hong Leong Finance under the victim’s instruction to three individuals.

ASC instructed the bank to hold the cheques as they waited for further verifications.

In the third case on March 9, ASC and CIMB were alerted that the victim was accompanied by an unknown man to a bank branch to purchase a cashier’s order of $1.2 million.

ASC officers and police officers from the Central Police Division intervened and arrested a 20-year-old man for his suspected involvement in a government officials impersonation scam case.

Two mobile phones and documents were seized during investigations.

Preliminary investigations showed that the man arrested had impersonated a police officer from China, and accompanied the victim to the CIMB branch where he demanded that the victim purchase the cashier’s order.

The man is believed to be involved in three other government official impersonation scams between February and March, the police added.

“The police take a serious view against any person who may be involved in scams, whether knowingly or unwittingly. Anyone found to be involved in such scams will be subjected to police investigations,” said the police.