She would never have imagined that picking up a phone call would cost her $80,000.
The 60-year-old woman had received a call from a 'police officer' to inform her that her bank accounts had been used for money laundering purposes.
She was asked to provide her personal information and to keep the 'investigation' a secret.
The elderly woman received another call and was directed to a webpage that resembled the Singapore Police Force's (SPF) website. There, she keyed in her bank account details and passwords.
After visiting the webpage, she discovered that a large sum of money was transferred out of her bank accounts without her knowledge.
The victim made a police report on Tuesday (Nov 14) and investigations are ongoing, the police said in a press release on Wednesday (Nov 15).
The woman had fallen for a phishing scam, where users are tricked into providing their personal or financial information through bogus websites or emails that appear to come from official sources.
Following the report, the police clarified that the official SPF website address is www.police.gov.sg and advised members of the public to take the following precautions when they receive unsolicited calls, especially from unknown parties:
- Ignore the calls. Scammers may use Caller ID spoofing technology to mask the actual phone number and display a different number;
- Ignore instructions to remit or transfer money. No government agency will inform you to make a payment through a telephone call;
- Refrain from giving out personal information and bank details, whether on the website or to callers over the phone;
- Be wary of befriending strangers online who may ask to use your bank account to either receive money or transfer money to someone else - you may be in the process of being recruited as a money mule;
For scam-related advice, call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688.