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     FrontPage Edition: Thu 13 December 2007

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 More reported cases of tricksters impersonating government officers


Phone Scams Making Use Of Kidnap Ruse And Impersonating As Supreme Court Staff Or Police Officers Continues

Confidence tricksters continue to use the "Kidnap Hoax Scam" with 9 cases reported between 1 and 29 November 07 and 19 cases reported between 1 and 6 Dec 07.
The cheating ruse is employed to induce people to part with money by alleging that their next-of-kin had been kidnapped and would be harmed if money was not transferred to the callers. The allegations were untrue and no one had been kidnapped.
Police had earlier in August 07 alerted members of public of this cheating ruse when it surfaced. Of the 58 cases reported since Aug 07, the culprits were unsuccessful in all but two cases, in which the victims were cheated of more than S$50,000 cash.
Members of public are advised to remain calm and call the Police immediately if they are approached in a similar manner. Police investigations of these cases are on-going.
Another ruse used by the cheats is to impersonate themselves as police officers or staff from the Supreme Court. The impersonators would direct them to attend court or request for transfer of monies and attempt to induce their victims into parting with money, presumably to exonerate them from involvement in criminal cases or for failure to attend court hearings. In reality, the victims were not involved in any such criminal or court proceedings.
This method of cheating surfaced in September 07 which prompted police to alert members of public. As of 6 December 07, a total of 224 reports were received. The culprits were unsuccessful in 195 cases, but in 29 cases the victims were cheated of more than S$275,500 cash.
It is normal during the course of police work for investigators to inform members of the public over the phone on Court dates and appointments at the police station for police statements. However, police will never ask for money to be deposited into a bank account. If such requests for property deposits or personal information disclosure are received, they should be reported to the police immediately.
The public is advised to be wary when receiving phone calls or other forms of communication. Cheating scams may take different forms but these scams are all designed to cheat victims into parting with their money. When in doubt, the public is advised to verify the caller's identity with the agency or organisation the caller claims to be from.
07 December 2007 at 5.00pm

Source: News Release 7 Dec 2007

Related Article:
- Tricksters impersonating Supreme Court staff and police officers

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