SINGAPORE - The police are investigating 82 people who are believed to have scammed victims of more than $250,000.
In a statement on Friday (July 5), the authorities said that the Commercial Affairs Department and seven police land divisions conducted a five-day enforcement operation which began on Monday.
The 72 men and 10 women, aged between 16 and 72, are currently assisting with police investigations, and are believed to be involved in a total of 174 scam cases. A majority of these are e-commerce scams.
Anyone found guilty of cheating may be jailed for up to 10 years and fined, while those convicted of money laundering may be jailed for up to 10 years, fined up to $500,000, or both.
In the statement, the police also advised the public to adopt the following measures against online purchase scams.
- Be wary of online advertisements of items at cheap prices that sound too good to be true. Avoid buying on impulse and read reviews of the sellers before committing to a purchase.
- Do not fall for scammers who use a local bank account or provide a copy of their NRIC or driver's licence to convince buyers that they are genuine sellers.
- Avoid making payments or deposits in advance. Try to use shopping platforms or arrangements that release payment to the seller after the item has been received, or arrange to meet the seller and pay on delivery.
"To avoid being an accomplice to crimes, members of the public should always reject requests by others to use your bank account or mobile lines as you will be held accountable if these accounts are linked to illegal transactions," the police said.
The public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the anti-scam hotline on 1800-722-6688. Those with scam-related information can call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit information at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.