Last Updated on 2023-03-28 , 10:08 am
In this day and age, there’s no doubt that more and more of us have been exposed to scams.
And while most of us can quickly identify the more well-known scams out there, scammers constantly find new ways to try and scam unsuspecting members of the public.
Recently, a user on Reddit uploaded a post to the r/singapore Subreddit claiming that scammers can now call people without the +65 prefix being added to their phone numbers, making it seem like a local call.
Here’s what you need to know about this new form of scamming.
Reddit User Claimed that Scammers Can Now Call From Local Numbers
On Tuesday (21 March), a Reddit user with the username u/commonjunks uploaded the following post to the r/singapore Subreddit.
Beware of Scammers Using Local Phone Numbers: My Experience with a Call from 8763 xxxx
by u/commonjunks in singapore
In the post, they talked about receiving a call from a local number, meaning that the number did not start with the +65 prefix.
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“Normally, I don’t entertain any calls starting from +65 (as they are often scams). However, since the number was local, I decided to pick up,” the user explained.
After picking up the call, the person on the other end allegedly told u/commonjunks about a “dispute” regarding their DBS credit card transaction.
The alleged scammer also asked u/commonjunks to “talk to customer service to avoid illegal usage”.
“The person had a very localised voice, which led me to believe that the scammer might be in Singapore or Malaysia. I asked him about the nature of the dispute, and he replied that he would need my information first, starting with my name, to proceed. I declined and told him that I would call [the] DBS hotline to find out more information,” u/commonjunks added.
Visited DBS Branch to Confirm that Nothing Was Wrong
Afterwards, the Reddit user visited a nearby DBS branch and informed the staff of the phone call.
After a 15-minute discussion and account check, the staff confirmed that there was “no suspicious activity” going on in u/commonjunks’ account.
Claimed that Staff Did Not Take Complaint Seriously
However, u/commonjunks also touched on how they felt that the staff at DBS did not treat their complaint seriously.
During their visit, they told staff members about the scammer and even gave them the scammer’s phone number.
u/commonjunks also told them that the scammer “seemed very convincing with the local number and localised speech”.
Despite this, the Reddit user said the bank staff still did not “take [their complaints] seriously”.
“The staff asked me not to worry, as there was nothing going on, and discarded the paper where they noted the number.
“I wonder why such complaints are not taken seriously, especially when the scammer could be located locally or in a neighbouring country,” they mentioned.
Others Have Faced the Same Issue
In the comments section, many netizens wrote that they have also received similar calls.
by u/anangrypudge from discussion Beware of Scammers Using Local Phone Numbers: My Experience with a Call from 8763 xxxx
While some shared their experience of being called by a local number that did not have the +65 prefix, others mentioned that scammers pretending to be DBS called them to confirm their “spending” in other countries.
by u/commonjunks from discussion Beware of Scammers Using Local Phone Numbers: My Experience with a Call from 8763 xxxx
A few netizens added that the calls they received were in the form of recorded audio messages.
Thankfully, it seems like none of the commenters ended up getting scammed.
Some Banks’ Legit Calls Seem Like Scams Too
On the other hand, one netizen shared that they have received legitimate calls from the bank too, but in a suspicious manner.
by u/hotate_ from discussion Beware of Scammers Using Local Phone Numbers: My Experience with a Call from 8763 xxxx
According to this netizen, they have received “legit calls from UOB” on their credit card issues.
“But they’ll start the call by asking me to provide personal details for ID verification. Shouldn’t I be verifying the caller instead?? The risk control steps should definitely be updated,” they commented.
Scammers Pretend to Know You
Apart from that, several netizens also note that some scammers pretend to know who they’re calling but won’t reveal their identity even after you try to probe them.
by u/potatetoe_tractor from discussion Beware of Scammers Using Local Phone Numbers: My Experience with a Call from 8763 xxxx
In particular, one user wrote that such scammers would go along with any name you call them.
“It’s just social engineering at play cuz I’ll throw some random name, and he’ll readily reply in the affirmative,” the user said.
What to Do to Prevent Getting Scammed
And while scams have become more prevalent, there are definitely still ways to protect yourself from being scammed.
Firstly, if you’re faced with a situation whereby the scammer pretends to know you and calls you by your name, you can respond by asking them if their name is one that none of your friends has.
For example, if you don’t have a friend called John (although that’s highly unlikely), you should ask if they’re John.
If they reply yes, you’ll know that they’re a scammer.
Next, one Reddit user also suggested that people shouldn’t pick up calls from unknown numbers when they call for the first time.
by u/SlaySlavery from discussion Beware of Scammers Using Local Phone Numbers: My Experience with a Call from 8763 xxxx
“If it’s legit and urgent, they will call you back a second or even third time,” the user explained.
Last but not least, you can also get scam-related advice by calling the ScamAlert hotline at 1800-722-6688 from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays (excluding Public Holidays).
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What to Do if You Get Scammed
And if you (unfortunately) get scammed, here are other things you can do.
If you’ve suffered the loss of monetary assets or personal information, you can lodge a police report either online or in person.
E-commerce scam victims can report their experience to the police and the relevant platform admins.
On the other hand, people whose online accounts have been hacked or compromised should inform their family and friends to ensure that they do not interact with the hacked account and scammer. Next, these victims should lodge a police report.
For more information about what to do if you’ve fallen victim to a scam, visit ScamAlert’s website here.
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