$9.3 million lost in 534 cases of scams in Singapore

They were caught during a two-week operation by the police from March 27 to April 9.
They were caught during a two-week operation by the police from March 27 to April 9.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Alleged scammers involved in 534 cases which led to more than $9.3 million lost by the victims are under investigation by the police.

A total of 329 suspects - 207 men and 122 women - are being probed over Internet love, e-commerce, fake gambling platform and other scams.

The youngest suspect is 16, while the oldest is 80.

They were caught during a two-week operation by the police from March 27 to April 9.

The suspects are being investigated for the offences of cheating, money laundering or providing payment services without a licence.

Cheating carries an imprisonment term of up to 10 years and a fine.

Money laundering carries the same prison term and a fine of up to $500,000, or both, while providing payment services without a licence carries a fine of up to $125,000 or jail for up to three years, or both.

The police take a serious stance against any person who may be involved in scams, they said.

"To avoid being an accomplice to crimes, members of the public should always reject requests by others to use their bank account or mobile lines as they will be held accountable if these are linked to crimes," they added.

Last year, victims lost more than $201 million to scams, with a record number of scams pushing the crime rate up to its highest since 2009. The police have been knocking on doors to warn residents about scams.

For more information on scams, members of the public can visit this website or call the anti-scam hotline on 1800-722-6688.