41 victims lost S$2.6m to fake 'MAS officials' since Jan. 2023, S'pore police urge caution

The scammers typically start by impersonating bank officers before transferring the call to the fake officials.

Hannah Martens | December 22, 2023, 02:20 PM



The Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Monetary Authority Singapore (MAS) issued a press release on Dec. 21, 2023, warning the public against a variant of the "government officials scam", where scammers would claim to be from or acting on behalf of MAS.

Since January 2023, there have been 41 victims, with total losses amounting to at least S$2.6 million.

Victims receive unsolicited calls from scammers

The press release said the scammers typically start by impersonating bank officers and requesting verification from the victims on alleged banking transactions.

When victims deny making the transactions, the scammer would transfer the call to a second scammer claiming to be an MAS officer.

The second scammer would then accuse victims of being involved in criminal activities like money laundering and fraud. Victims may also be transferred to a third person pretending to be an SPF officer under the pretence of "further investigation".

Under various pretexts, the scammers would instruct the victims to transfer money to "security accounts", specified bank accounts purportedly designated by SPF, MAS or other authorities. The scammers may also request the victims' banking and credit card details or One-Time Passwords (OTPs).

Victims would realise they were scammed when the scammers become uncontactable or when they verify their situation with banks or SPF through official channels.

MAS said that its officers and SPF officers would never ask members of the public to transfer money or for control of their bank accounts or Internet banking credentials.

MAS and SPF also encouraged the public to use the new feature introduced by DBS, OCBC and UOB to lock up their savings for "greater peace of mind and security against unauthorised digital transfer or payments".

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