SINGAPORE: The Anti-Scam Centre (ASC) and Standard Chartered Bank successfully prevented an elderly woman from losing more than S$260,000 in a government official impersonation scam. The collaboration resulted in the detection, tracing, and freezing of funds linked to the scam.
The victim, a 79-year-old woman, fell prey to the elaborate scheme in September 2023 when she received an unsolicited call from a scammer posing as a bank officer. The first scammer claimed that her account was under investigation, subsequently transferring her to a second scammer impersonating a Singapore Police Force (SPF) official.
Under the second scammer’s instructions, the victim sold her Unit Trust investments with Standard Chartered Bank, amounting to over S$260,000, and transferred the funds to a third-party account provided by the scammer.
The vigilant actions of a Standard Chartered Bank relationship manager, who noticed the unusual banking activity, led to the prompt escalation of the case to the bank’s anti-fraud team. The team, in collaboration with the ASC, conducted fund flow tracing, identifying and freezing all accounts controlled by the scammers, preventing the loss of a substantial amount.
The ASC promptly alerted the victim of the deceptive scheme, emphasizing the importance of staying vigilant against scams.
The SPF issued a statement noting that more and more scammers are impersonating officers from government organizations, accusing victims of involvement in criminal or money laundering activities overseas. The public is urged to be cautious and adopt precautionary measures, including the use of the ScamShield App, enabling Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), and regularly checking for scam signs from official sources.
The public is advised to stay informed about potential scams through the Anti-Scam Helpline at 1800-722-6688 or www.scamalert.sg. Additional precautionary measures include not installing software from unverified sources, reporting suspicious activities to authorities, and reporting fraudulent transactions to banks immediately.
In case of doubt or to report crimes, individuals can contact the Police Hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.