SINGAPORE - A 38-year-old woman has been arrested for her involvement in a series of Internet love scams that cheated victims out of a total of $216,000.
The police said in a statement on Monday (Nov 13) that they received reports from several victims in early October.
The victims said they were asked by online scammers to transfer money to various bank accounts.
The bank account holders passed the cash to the 38-year-old suspect, who is believed to have carried the money out of Singapore to deliver it to members of a scam syndicate, investigations by the Commercial Affairs Department revealed.
She will be charged in court with the offences of acquiring benefits from criminal conduct, transferring benefits from criminal conduct out of Singapore and failing to give reports when moving cash exceeding the threshold amount of $20,000 out of Singapore.
Those found guilty of acquiring or transferring criminal benefits face up to 10 years' jail and/or a fine of up to $500,000.
Anyone convicted of failing to give requisite reports on cash movements out of Singapore can be jailed for up to three years and/or fined up to $50,000.
The police stressed that Internet love scams remain a serious concern, with 349 such scams reported in the first half of the year, up from 277 cases for the same period last year.
The modus operandi for these scams usually involves scammers befriending victims on social media platforms and developing relationships with them online.
They then cheat the victims by asking them to transfer money for fictitious purposes such as business loans, legal fees or courier fees for parcels that they say they are sending to the victims.
The police advised the public to be careful when befriending strangers online, and to be wary when asked to transfer money to strangers.
More information on scams can be found at www.scamalert.sg