115 under probe over scams in which victims lost $253,000

The police are investigating 115 people for their suspected involvement in scams, mostly in e-commerce.

They are believed to be involved in 214 scam cases in which the victims lost more than $253,000, the police said last Saturday.

The 64 men and 51 women, aged between 14 and 52, are being investigated for cheating or money laundering.

Officers from the Commercial Affairs Department and seven police land divisions were involved in a five-day operation starting last Monday that led to the arrest of some of the 115 alleged scammers.

Anyone found guilty of cheating may be fined and jailed for up to 10 years. Anyone found guilty of money laundering faces a jail term of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $500,000, or both.

The police advised members of the public to avoid being an accomplice to crimes by rejecting requests by others to use their bank accounts or mobile lines, as they will be held accountable if these accounts are linked to illegal transactions.

The police also said people can avoid falling for online purchase scams by being wary of online advertisements for items being sold at low prices which sound too good to be true. Buyers should read reviews of these items before purchasing them.

 
 

Members of the public should also be wary of scammers, even if they use a local bank account or provide a copy of their identification such as their NRIC or driver's licence.

The police said buyers should avoid making payments or deposits in advance, and arrange for the money to be released to the seller only after they receive the item.

For scam-related advice, call the anti-scam helpline on 1800-722-6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg

Those who wish to provide information on scams may call the police on 1800-255-0000, or send the information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 26, 2019, with the headline '115 under probe over scams in which victims lost $253,000'. Print Edition | Subscribe