Scammer goes all out to impersonate a Singapore cop – gets one thing wrong

A man wears a custom hat with the logo of the New York Yankees. Photos: Lid Wati Hassan/Facebook
A man wears a custom hat with the logo of the New York Yankees. Photos: Lid Wati Hassan/Facebook

Singapore’s police last night warned the public that a phisher is posing as a baseball-loving cop to obtain their personal banking information.

The scammer uses messaging apps with a profile photo of a legit officer to contact people and switches to video to reveal their elaborate disguise including a cap with official logos of the police force and, for some reason, the New York Yankees baseball team. 

“The Police would like to emphasise that these calls were not made by police officers. […] Ignore the instructions. No government agency will obtain personal information through telephone call,” the police wrote in an advisory.

A wary citizen first raised alarm Saturday by posting screenshots of their video call with someone on a local phone number who claimed to be from the Criminal Investigation Department and asked for her banking details. In screenshots, the con artist stood before a backdrop of the police force’s distinct red crest wearing a dark blue baseball hat and uniform similar to that of an officer. The man also flashed what looked like a genuine police ID card. 

Real police hats of course only have the insignia on them, not American sports teams.

“He will even video call you to show he is wearing police uniform to dupe you (you can tell all is fake, but our elders may fall for the scam) Please inform your loved ones so that they can be more careful,” a Lid Wati Hassan wrote.

Impersonating a police officer is a crime punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of S$2,500.

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