SINGAPORE/CHINA - Police said reports have been received recently on a phone scam whereby a caller would claim to be the victim's friend and that he has been arrested while in China.
The scammer would then ask the victim to transfer a sum of money to pay bail or fines for his friend's release.
Victims who accede to the request would eventually discover that it was a scam, after establishing contact with their friends.
In such "police-bail" scams, victims would receive calls purportedly from China, with the +86 country code.
So far, victims have transferred sums ranging from $800 to $16,000 to a bank account in China, said the police in a statement.
"The police would like to remind the public to be vigilant against scams as criminals are coming up with more innovative ways to cheat unsuspecting victims," the statement said.
The police advise the public to adopt the following crime-prevention measures:
Inform the police immediately if anyone attempts to extort or ask for money from you. Be wary of messages or calls from unknown people who want to befriend you.
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.
If you have information related to the latest scam, call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000, or on 999 for urgent police assistance.
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