Even amidst a worldwide contagious coronavirus outbreak, people are still being dishonest.
And this time, scammers thought it would be a good idea to impersonate MOH staff.
The funny thing is that China is allegedly virus free, but their scammers are targeting places where the virus is still alive and kicking… such as Singapore.
MOH Warns of Scammers Impersonating As Them; Even Asked to Speak in Chinese
The Ministry of Health (MOH) said it was aware of scammers using automated voice calls or impersonating its staff members and COVID-19 contact tracing personnel.
According to an advisory released by MOH, these scammers ask for personal information from people, which includes financial details.
Some have even asked them to collect documents from the ministry.
Scam Alert’s website details that multiple people have come forward to share that they’ve encountered these scammers.
What Went Down
According to CNA, one person said that they received a call from MOH in both English and Chinese about an outstanding “urgent matter”.
They also allegedly said that “medical benefits will be ceased in two weeks’ time”. They were then instructed to press “9” on their phone for further assistance.
“Upon pressing ‘9’, it was connected to an operator (guy) who spoke in Chinese … He then asked if I could speak in Chinese,” the person wrote on Scam Alert.
Another person in a separate incident said, “I received this automated call in Chinese saying it’s from MOH (and) was redirected to someone who also spoke in Chinese asking me if I (had) received any messages from MOH.”
“I felt it was off … He said they had a Chinese department and then told me to go down to collect documents at MOH’s office. I told him I’ll check later myself and he just hung up.”
Immoral To Do This During Such A Dire Situation
At least one person commented that their actions, especially during such a dire circumstance are “immoral”.
“It’s so immoral to call people during this time of COVID-19, especially pretending to be from a staff of MOH.”
In a period where many people are falling ill and dying all over the world, it isn’t right to take advantage of the situation for your own gain.
All that aside, here are some things to take note of so you won’t fall prey to these scammers:
- MOH will not ask for your financial details during contact tracing.
- MOH will not ask you to collect documents from them.
- When in doubt, please verify the authenticity of phone calls by calling MOH hotline at 1800-333-9999
The Situation In Singapore
As of 26 March, there are 52 new cases of the coronavirus, out of which, 28 are imported cases.
PCF Fengshan cluster now has a total of 20 linked cases. All in all, Singapore has a total of 683 cases.
172 patients have fully recovered and are discharged, while 18 are in ICU. 2 patients have passed away.
The conditions of the remaining patients are either stable or improving, and 87 of them who are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19 have been transferred to Concord International Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Hospital and the Community Isolation Facility at D’Resort NTUC for isolation and care.