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Woman arrested in China officials impersonation scam involving staged kidnap | #phishing | #scams | #hacking | #aihp

SINGAPORE: A 21-year-old woman suspected to be involved in a China officials impersonation scam was arrested after police received a report on a kidnapping case which turned out to be staged.

The police said in a news release on Saturday (Sep 24) that they received a report on Tuesday that another 21-year-old woman had allegedly been kidnapped. 

Before the report was made, the victim’s parents in China received a video of their daughter with her hands and legs tied up, with a ransom demand from an unknown person communicating in Mandarin.

Following the report, police conducted searches and investigations to locate the victim and she was found to be safe and sound on Thursday, in a Yishun flat rented by the 21-year-old woman.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the victim had earlier received a call from someone purporting to be from the Health Ministry in Singapore. The person alleged that a phone line registered in the victim’s name was used to cheat people in China.

“When the victim denied this, the call was redirected to another scammer purporting to be an officer from the ‘China Police’, who further alleged that a bank account in her name was also found to be involved in money laundering activities in China,” said the police.

The victim was deceived into transferring more than S$350,000 as “bail money” to the scammer to avoid being deported.

The victim, acting on the scammer’s instructions, also recorded a video of herself being tied up to assist in purported investigations.

“Thereafter, the scammer told the victim to cease communication and isolate herself in a ‘safe house’ that the scammer had arranged,” said the police.

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