Scammers have been impersonating government officials since last month in what police described yesterday as a new variant of bank-related phishing scams.

Victims in such cases receive phone calls or messages allegedly from government agencies, such as the police and Ministry of Manpower, claiming there are issues with their bank accounts.

They are asked to verify their banking or personal details, such as their Internet login credentials and NRIC numbers.

Unauthorised transactions are then made from the accounts.

Around 900 cases of bank-related phishing scams were reported in the first six months of last year, a huge jump from just 34 such cases for the same period in 2019, said the police.

Losses amounted to more than $3.6 million for that period last year, added the police.

The police advise the public to ignore callers when asked for banking account login details or personal particulars. No government agency will request such information on the phone.

Scammers may mask their phone numbers and display a different number using ID-spoofing technology, said the police.

Since last April, all incoming international calls have been prefixed with a plus sign.

The police advise the public to be vigilant when receiving unexpected international calls, and to reject those with spoof local numbers.

Those with information on bank-related phishing crimes should call the police hotline (1800-255-0000) or submit it online at


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