SINGAPORE – A 71-year-old would have lost about $1.5 million to an investment scam had it not been for the actions of the police and bank staff on Jan 11.
In a media statement on Jan 16, the police said that the victim had made “large-sum” payments to different bank accounts after a foreign acquaintance promised the victim quick returns on investment opportunities.
The transfers – the sums of which were not disclosed – were subsequently detected by both the police’s Anti-Scam Centre (ASC) and Standard Chartered Bank. It is unclear if any of the transactions were successful.
The ASC then told the victim, through an SMS message, to be wary of scams, while the bank’s anti-fraud team temporarily suspended the victim’s access to digital banking.
The intervention by ASC and Standard Chartered Bank officers helped the victim avoid losses totalling about $1.5 million, said the police.
In investment scams, the culprits usually approach targets through social media platforms or instant messaging and dating applications, they added.
The scammers would then promote investment schemes such as those involving cryptocurrency, foreign exchange or stocks, portraying them as lucrative opportunities.