Over $110k lost to impersonation scams involving illegal Covid-19 meds
More than $110,000 was lost to scammers impersonating officials from the Ministry of Health, said the police in a statement yesterday.
The callers claimed that Chinese officials had seized parcels of contraband medicine being used to treat Covid-19 that were registered under the victims' name.
They would then be transferred to another scammer claiming to be from the Chinese police investigating the case and duped into believing their identities were being misused.
Victims were then asked to provide their NRIC numbers, passport details, and Internet banking details.
The police have received at least five reports of such scams since last month.
Other similar scams involved the impersonation of officers from government organisations.
Victims were informed that a mobile number registered in their name was linked to a crime, that there was a court case pending against them, or that they had committed a criminal offence and were required to assist in investigations.
The police said the authorities would not request for banking credentials over the phone.
It reminded the public to stay vigilant when receiving international calls and reject those that use caller ID spoofing technology to mask the actual phone number with a local one.
From tomorrow, all incoming international calls will be prefixed with a plus sign.
Members of the public are also advised against giving out their personal information.
Those with information on such scams can call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or go to www.police.gov.sg/iwitness
For scam-related advice, visit the anti-scam helpline 1800-722-6688 or www.scamalert.sg/fight - NUR IFFAH MUHAMMAD ROSTAM