An international student in Singapore – Zhang – lost over S$300,000 (US$220,000) when he fell for a “government imposter” scam.

Here’s what happened:

  • July 27 – Zhang received an automated message claiming to be from Singapore’s Ministry of Health, which said that it had important COVID-related information for him.
  • The message told him to press a number to speak to an individual purportedly from the ministry and he did.
  • The person he spoke to said that one of his phone numbers was linked to the claimed that one of spreading of Covid-19 related rumours in Shanghai.
  • Zhang was then put in contact with people claiming to be Chinese officials who said he was suspected of involvement in a money laundering case.  
  • Mr Zhang said he subsequently received documents purportedly from the Chinese authorities.
  • He also received calls and text messages – up to five times per day – from several individuals claiming to be Chinese officials.
  • The scammers told him that he must transfer money to support the investigation into the case. They also told him not to tell anyone about the case.
  • Zhang transferred money that his parents had given him until they became suspicious and told him to report the case to the police in Singapore.

Don’t get scammed!

As an international student, the best way to protect yourself from scams is to ensure you understand the risks and warning signs.

Stay safe – by taking the free online course below:

Scams Targeting International Students

cryptocurrency scam

Educational Institutions, Education Agents and Student Accommodation Providers…

…make our online safety courses available to your international students. Contact us.

Source: The Star, The Straits Times