41-year-old man being investigated for possible abuse of Covid-19 Temporary Relief Fund

An Internet user had made a post claiming that he was able to obtain aid from the fund without any documents. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said on Sunday (April 12) they have been alerted to a case of possible abuse of the Covid-19 Temporary Relief Fund.

An Internet user had made an online post claiming that he was able to obtain the Temporary Relief Fund aid without any documents and that the system was "so simple to cheat", the two organisations said in a joint statement.

The police have identified a 41-year-old male Singaporean behind the post and investigations are ongoing.

SPF said it is also aware that there are advertisements on social media purportedly selling forged payslips for the purpose of making fraudulent claims for the Temporary Relief Fund.

The fund gives a one-time cash assistance of $500 to lower- to middle-income Singaporeans and permanent residents facing difficulties during the Covid-19 crisis due to job or income loss.

MSF and the police treat such cases seriously and will not hesitate to take action against anyone who abuses and/or facilitates the abuse of the fund, said both organisations.

MSF added that it is conducting checks on all applications to detect forged payslips.

"Members of the public are warned that these advertisements may be scams and are advised not to respond to them."

Abuse of the fund may constitute an offence of cheating and will be immediately referred to the police for investigation.

The offence of cheating carries an imprisonment for a term of up to 10 years, and a fine.

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