Written Replies to Parliamentary Questions

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on How Companies and Individuals Can Avoid Being Scammed by Letters that are Designed to Look Similar to Official Government Letters, by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Published: 10 September 2018


Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) how can companies and individuals avoid being scammed by letters that are designed to look similar to official Government letters; (b) whether the Ministry can help to raise more awareness about such scams apart from cyber scams; and (c) whether heavier penalties can be imposed as such scams can have severe repercussions.



    1. Companies and individuals can adopt the following measures to avoid being a victim of scams that use official-looking letters or emails:


    a) First, they should exercise vigilance when dealing with unsolicited letters or emails, especially when personal banking details or payments are being sought;


    b) Secondly, they can call the relevant authorities to ascertain the authenticity of the letter or email;


    c) Finally, they can seek scam-related advice via the Anti-Scam Helpline at 1800-722-6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg.


    2. The Police and NCPC will continually review these measures.


    3. The Member also asked whether heavier penalties can be imposed.


    4. We think that the sentencing range under existing legislation is adequate. A person who is convicted of a cheating offence under section 420 of the Penal Code may be liable for imprisonment of up to ten years.


    5. But above all, I urge Singaporeans to remain alert and vigilant against scams.


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