We’ve seen an incredulous number of scams from the past year alone, the most notorious one being the OCBC phishing scam which resulted in the loss of $13.7 million.
Sadly, another man has fell victim to a rather well-known scam that involved the impersonation of the Singapore Police Force on WhatsApp.
Did Not Keep Up with News
The 23-year-old man received a WhatsApp video call in January.
According to Shin Min Daily News, the man did not think much of the call as the scammer wore a mask and spoke good English.
“I didn’t over think, I thought since the other person was the police, I should follow his request and give him my NRIC and OTP,” said the scam victim.
What the man was not aware of was that multiple anti-scam reports emerged online to warn Singaporeans against this particular WhatsApp scam routine.
Found the Call Suspicious After
It was only later the victim felt that the call was suspicious and made the decision to check his bank account.
But by then it was too late—his entire savings amounting up to $4,000, including his bonus, were completely gone.
What was left was only 38 cents in his bank account.
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The victim has since made a police report with the actual Singapore Police Force.
According to the victim’s aunt, her nephew was not aware of the new scam tactics involving scammers impersonating the Singapore Police Force as he did not keep up with the news.
This was also why he was not exposed to the anti-scam campaigns held to educate and protect Singaporeans against such scammers either.
Look out for Overseas Prefix Numbers
One thing to take away from this is look out for overseas calls. This can be done by looking out for the prefix number in incoming calls.
In the case of the victim, he received a call from a number starting with the prefix of ‘+92’—a sign that the caller was not from Singapore.
It indicated that the caller was most likely from Pakistan instead as that is their country code.
But calls with our local prefix number ‘+65’ can’t exactly be trusted either.
Last year, the Singapore Police Force created a video on whether locals should be wary of ‘+65’ calls.
In short, the answer is yes as overseas scammers can spoof local phone numbers with the ‘+65’ prefix. When in doubt, always Google for more information first and be updated with the news to be aware of the latest scam tactics.
So stay cautious and remember—never give out personal information such as your NRIC, OTP, and credit card details readily.
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