Almost anyone can fall for a scam nowadays, with vulnerable members of the public especially susceptible.
An elderly woman for instance nearly transferred a whopping S$260,000 to a scammer.
But thanks to a Standard Chartered (StanChart) staff member who raised an alarm which alerted the police, the woman’s money was safe.
The incident occurred in September when a 79-year-old woman received an unsolicited call, said the Singapore Police Force (SPF) in a news release on Friday (8 Dec).
They posed as a bank officer, telling the elderly lady that her bank account had been frozen due to an investigation.
Then, a second scammer, posing as an SPF official, told her to report her whereabouts four times a day.
She was also convinced to keep mum about any details relating to the ‘investigation’.
In November, the second scammer instructed her to sell the unit trust investments she had with StanChart, allegedly to assist in the ‘investigation’.
The elderly woman was to transfer more than S$260,000 to a third-party bank account that the scammer provided.
At this point, the transaction attracted the attention of StanChart relationship manager Tan Kah Boon.
He’d noticed unusual banking behaviour from the elderly woman, including outgoing transfers to a suspected mule’s bank account.
He took this up with StanChart’s ant-fraud team. They in turn alerted the SPF’s Anti-Scam Centre (ASC).
The flow of funds was traced immediately, and all accounts controlled by scammers were identified and frozen.
This blocked the transaction and prevented the victim from losing her money.
The police said the timely intervention was thanks to “rigorous emphasis on anti-scam training” applied by StanChart.
The bank’s anti-fraud team conducts regular training for their frontline teams in fraud detection and prevention measures, they added.
They and other financial institutions and stakeholders also collaborate closely with the ASC to fight scams.
Some preventive measures suggested by the SPF include not installing software from unverified sources and making sure one key in personal particulars or bank login details when nobody’s watching.
Members of the public are also advised not to let people pressure them into acting impulsively and tell their friends and family about potential scams.
As for the elderly woman, the ASC informed her about the scam.
Kudos to Mr Tan and the StanChart anti-fraud team for stopping someone from losing her savings.
Hopefully, more people will be alert enough so they can avoid being scammed without the intervention of bank staff.
Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image adapted from Google Maps.
The book retailer has closed a slew of its stores over the last few years.
We can’t believe ‘The Eras Tour’ is finally right around the corner.
She called on everyone to stand on the side of humanity.
The victim sustained fractures to her elbow, hip and pelvis.
The wallet also contained the owner's work permit.
She even prepares dishes for them during festive occasions.