Staff from remittance agencies commended for foiling impersonation scams

Hannah Teoh
Senior Content Producer
Singapore currency. (PHOTO: Reuters)

Three staff from two remittance agencies were commended by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) on Wednesday (20 September) for helping to prevent two people from losing money through overseas impersonation scams.

In the first incident on 8 September, a 61-year-old woman received a phone call from the “Chinese police” accusing her of committing money laundering, said the SPF in a news release. She was instructed to remit $15,000 to a Chinese bank as an assurance fee.

An alert member of staff at Zhongguo Remittance, located at People’s Park Complex, noticed that the victim appeared flustered and could not provide details of the remittance when asked.

The staff member, named Li Fang, then contacted the SPF’s Commercial Affairs Department (CAD). Officers from the CAD convinced the victim that this was an impersonation scam and she did not proceed with the remittance.

In the second incident, a 75-year-old woman received a similar phone call from a “Chinese police investigator” who accused the victim of being a suspect in a fraud case. The “investigator” told the woman to transfer $40,000 to a Chinese bank account.

When the victim said she did not know how to remit cash overseas, she was told to meet a Chinese woman to help her. The woman brought the victim to Samlit Moneychanger at People’s Park Complex on 8 September.

Sameer Malik, who was on duty at Samlit observed that the victim was anxious and could not provide details about the remittance. Sameer alerted his supervisor, Novianti, who then called the CAD.

Officers responded and confirmed that the victim was being scammed. A 50-year-old Singaporean woman was arrested in connection with the second case on the same day for attempting to cheat the victim.

The SPF have advised members of the public to adopt precautions when receiving unsolicited calls, especially from unknown persons. Those who have information related to such crimes can call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or dial 999 for urgent Police assistance.

More Singapore stories: