Recently the Singapore Police Force recorded a video starring Comedian Hossan Leong (for the video: Channel News Asia,) to raise awareness of a phone scam that caused Singaporean victims a lost of more than S$4 millions since March 2016. The phone scam became viral in Singapore whereby the scammers will impersonate officials from the police, customs or a courier company. Potential victims were told that they must send monies to an overseas bank account as a price for the officers to ‘remain silence’ since the parcel sent to them contained unlawful items.
The phone call will direct us to some Mandarin speaking persons. As reported by a leading newspaper in Singapore, the scammer will ask the victims for their names and bank account details or require the person to transfer money to a foreign account.
HIT THE SHORES OF MALAYSIA
Recently, this phone scam hit the shores of Malaysia. Our Mr Chang received a phone call from Chongqing, China that a parcel in his name has been confiscated and required payment before the parcel will be delivered.
He was already alerted to this scam by his friends from Singapore. Therefore he instead asked the person on the line what are the names of the recipient and the sender of the parcel. The caller promptly gave some excuses and hung up.
The Singapore courier, SingPost said it was aware of the scam and a spokesman from DHL admitted that they received more than 200 reports of the phone scams daily. The Singapore Police Force suggest that people shall not provide name, identification number, contact, bank or credit card details to anyone through unreliable phone calls.
WHAT TO DO
If you should ever receive such phone calls be aware that the parcel must have your own name, contact details and the details of the sender.
It is impossible that the courier company will ask you to provide your name and contact information FIRST. Secondly you should also check the incident with the courier company itself before you provide any personal details to the unknown caller.
HIU JING YIN JENNIFER
The National University of Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia