Singapore: 79-year-old woman nearly loses S$260,000 to scammers posing as officials

A 79-year-old woman almost lost S$260,000 after being duped by two scammers, who posed as officials from the bank and police, but was saved by the SPF’s Anti-Scam Centre.

Fortunately for her, a Standard Chartered bank staff, who worked in tandem with the ASC, flagged the transaction, effectively shutting down the scam before it could come to fruition.

An official news release stated that the victim managed to get the amount back.

S$260,000 for assisting in investigations

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) reported that the woman had received a call from the first scammer, who impersonated a bank officer, in September 2023. After being told that her “account had been frozen for investigation”, the second scammer was introduced.

Impersonating a Singapore Police Force official, the second scammer told the woman to “report her whereabouts four times daily and not to divulge details about the investigation”. This went on till November, following which she was instructed to sell her Unit Trust investments held with Standard Chartered Bank, amounting to more than S$260,000.

She was also directed to transfer the amount to a third-party bank account provided by them. This the scammer said would help in investigations.

“The transaction was detected by a Standard Chartered Bank relationship manager, who noticed the victim’s unusual banking behaviour and outgoing transfers to a suspected mule’s bank account. He promptly escalated the case to the Standard Chartered Bank anti-fraud team, who reached out to ASC for intervention,” the release said.

“The ASC immediately worked with Standard Chartered Bank’s anti-fraud team to conduct fund flow tracing, which led to identifying and freezing of all the scammer-controlled accounts. This prevented the loss of over S$260,000. ASC officers also swiftly followed up with the victim to alert her of the deceptive scheme,” it added.

The SPF also listed advices for citizens to follow and avoid such instances in the future.

Precautionary measures

Members of the public are advised to adopt the following precautionary measures:

ADD – ScamShield App and security features (e.g. enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), Multifactor Authentication for banks and set up transaction limits for internet banking transactions, including PayNow).

CHECK – For scam signs with official sources (e.g. ScamShield WhatsApp bot @, call the Anti-Scam Helpline on 1800-722-6688, or visit Never install software from unverified sources as they may be remote access software allowing others to observe what you do on your device or even take control of it. Additionally, you should never allow others to watch you enter your personal particulars or bank login details.

TELL – Authorities, family, and friends about scams and do not be pressured by the caller to act impulsively. Report the number to WhatsApp and Telegram to initiate in-app blocking and report any fraudulent transactions to your bank immediately.