China phone scam claims $1 million from victims: Police

SINGAPORE - The police have received around 400 reports about scam phone calls.

The police said in a statement today that members of the public first received calls from persons claiming to be employees of courier companies or banks in China.

They were told that their identities had been used to send parcels containing fake passports or weapons, or were used to apply for overseas credit cards.

They were then referred to another caller claiming to be a customs officer, a police officer or a government official from China.

They asked to provide their personal particulars including name, identification number, address, passport number and bank account numbers.

Some complainants were threatened with legal action and were instructed to remit monies to China so that the authorities would not pursue the matter.

The police said victims have lost more than $1 million to this scam till date.

The police advise members of public to take precautions when they receive unsolicited calls, especially from unknown parties.

Related: Beware of parcel phone scam

Police advice:

- Ignore such calls.

- Ignore caller's instructions.

- Do not provide any name, identification number, passport details, contact details, bank account or credit card details to the callers. Such information is useful to criminals.

- Do not make any funds transfers as no government agency will instruct payment through a telephone call and direct you to pay to a third party's bank account.

Call the police: If you have any information related to such crime, call the police hotline at 1800-255 0000, or dial '999' for urgent police assistance.