Re-emergence of Purchase Order Scam
It has been observed a re-emergence of the purchase order scam whereby scammers would pose as procurement officers from local universities and Government agencies, and induce unsuspecting companies into delivering goods with promises of payments at a later date. Since June 2020, the Police have received at least two reports of such scams, with total losses amounting to at least $160,000.
In such cases, the companies would receive e-mails purportedly sent by a procurement officer from a local university or Government agencies such as the Ministry of Health (MOH), asking for quotations for electronics, IT-related items and medical devices. The scammers would use e-mails bearing the template ‘[email protected]___ -sg.com’ or ‘[email protected]___,org’ to convince the companies that they were genuine. The following are some examples of fake e-mails used:
Once an agreement has been made, a purchase order (PO) would be sent to the company via an email. The company’s staff would believe that they had received a genuine email and PO, and would then deliver the goods to the delivery address indicated in the PO. Preliminary investigations revealed that the delivery address indicated in the POs of such scams usually belonged to freight forwarding companies engaged by the scammers to ship the goods overseas (i.e. to UK, Gambia, and Nigeria). No payments were eventually received.
Examples of Fake Emails