Beware of latest phone scam involving "arrest" in China

SINGAPORE - The police have issued an advisory warning the public about a recent phone scam, which involves duping victims into transferring money to a bank account in China.

Victims who reported the case to the police said that they had received calls purportedly from China, with the +86 country code. The caller would claim to be the victim's friend and allege that he had been arrested by police while in China.

The victim would then be told to transfer a sum of money to pay the bail or fines to secure his release. Victims who acceded to the request eventually discovered that the call was a scam after establishing contact with their friends.

Police said that victims have conned to transfer amounts ranging from $800 to $16,000 to a bank account in China.

Those with information about the crime should call the police hotline at 1800-255 0000 or 999 for urgent police assistance.

In the advisory, the police said that members of the public should take the following precautionary steps:

a. Inform the Police immediately if anyone attempts to extort or ask money from you;

b. Be wary of messages or calls from unknown people who want to befriend you;

c. Do not remit or transfer money to people whom you do not know well enough. The criminal may spend months building rapport with you before asking for money;

d. Do not give personal details about yourself or friends when interacting with unknown persons over the phone; and

e. If you receive any message or call from anyone claiming he/she is in some kind of trouble overseas and need you to urgently send money over, you should report the matter to Police and not transfer the money.