New Variant of China Officials Impersonation Scam

| 23 Mar 2020

We would like to alert the public to a variant of the China Officials Impersonation Scam. The callers would identify themselves as police officers from China and claim to be conducting investigations into money laundering offences committed by the victims. As part of the investigations, victims were instructed to hand over their monies by depositing them at specific public lockers.

In 2020, the Police have received at least four reports of this variant, with total losses of about $150,000.  

Members of the public are advised to adopt the following crime prevention measures.

Prevention measures

  1. Don’t panic – Ignore the calls and caller’s instructions. No government agency will request for the public to deposit their monies at public lockers, or ask for personal details or transfer of money over the phone. Call a trusted friend or talk to a relative before you act. You may be overwhelmed by emotion and err in your judgment.

  2. Don’t believe – Scammers may use caller ID spoofing technology to mask the actual phone number and display a different number. Calls that appear to be from a local number may not actually be made from Singapore. If you receive a suspicious call from a local number, hang up, wait a while, then call the number back to check the validity of the request. From mid-April 2020, all incoming international calls will be prefixed with a plus sign (+). Stay vigilant when receiving any unexpected international calls, and reject those which spoof local numbers.  

  3. Don’t give – Never provide your personal or bank account details, and One-Time-Password (OTP) to anyone. Such information are useful to criminals. Never leave your cash at secluded locations.

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Together, we can help stop scams and prevent our loved ones from becoming the next victim of scam!