Fraud Alert on a laptop screen

SINGAPORE: The Chinese Embassy in Singapore has advised Chinese nationals working in the city-state to use formal channels, such as Singapore banks, to remit money home. This follows a series of incidents where Chinese nationals had their remittances frozen.

The embassy sent out the advisory through its official WeChat public account on Tuesday (Oct 24), expressing concern over reports from Chinese nationals falling victim to remittance issues after using remittance companies in Chinatown. In these cases, a portion or the entirety of the remitted funds had been frozen domestically.

The embassy acknowledges that the remittance companies in question hold legal qualifications for remittances in Singapore. However, it revealed that, in practice, these entities guide remitters to sign disclaimers or provide written reminders that exempt them from the risks associated with potential fund freezing. This has left remitters in a precarious position, unable to produce evidence or file complaints if their funds are frozen.

The Chinese Embassy in Singapore is, therefore, advising its nationals working in the city-state to resort to formal channels, such as banks, for remitting money. The embassy stressed the importance of refraining from seeking “high exchange rates” through unofficial, non-bank channels to protect themselves from financial harm and deception.

In the event of remittances being frozen, the embassy recommends that remitters diligently collect all remittance receipts and any other pertinent evidence and file a complaint with the Monetary Authority of Singapore against the remittance company believed to have violated the rules.

In cases where money laundering or fraud is suspected, individuals are also encouraged to report such incidents to the Singapore police.

Furthermore, the embassy announced that Chinese banks, notably the Bank of China’s Singapore Branch, have enhanced their RMB pre-settlement services. These improvements enable customers to enjoy free online remittance services through mobile banking 24 hours daily. This ensures that the payee receives the full amount of funds at the exchange rate of the day.