Scammers in Singapore are adopting novel ways to dupe people and now they are masquerading as staff of telecommunications companies based in either China or Singapore, the Singapore Police Force said in an advisory. They have warned people to remain alert and ignore such unsolicited calls.
The police said members of the public who received such calls first heard an automated Mandarin voice message telling them their phone lines would be terminated and that they had to enter the number "1" to get further instructions. The calls were purportedly from either the Chinese police or a telco staff member.
The caller would then tell recipients that a mobile phone number registered under their names had been used for illicit activities such as operating an online gambling website or accessing illegal websites.
The Mandarin-speaking operator would then go on to ask for personal information, such as the recipient's name, identification card number, nationality and contact number, claiming this was to assist in resolving the matter, the SPF said.
The Singapore police have advised members of the public to ignore unsolicited calls, especially from unknown parties. Scammers may use caller ID spoofing technology to mask the actual phone number, so that calls that appear to be from a local number may not actually be made from Singapore, they said.
Police have advised, “If you receive a suspicious call from a local number, hang up, wait five minutes, then call the number back to check the validity of the request.”
They have also advised people to desist from giving out personal information and bank details such as internet bank account usernames or passwords and one-time password codes from tokens.
Members of the public who want to provide information to the police can call 1800-255-0000 or submit the information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.
To seek scam-related advice, members of the public can call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg.