12 investigated over $38,000 lost to scams and commercial crime-related offences

SINGAPORE - Seven men and five women are being investigated for their suspected involvement in a series of e-commerce scams and commercial crime-related offences where victims have lost more than $38,000.

The police said on Sunday (April 28) that this followed a two-day enforcement operation last Wednesday and Thursday by officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division.

The 12 suspects, aged between 25 and 55, are believed to be involved in 23 cases.

Five of them are believed to have allowed their bank accounts to be used by criminals to facilitate scams and are being investigated for the offence of money laundering. If found guilty, they may be jailed for up to 10 years, fined up to $500,000, or both.

One suspect is being investigated for forgery while another suspect is being investigated for cheating. Those found guilty of forgery or cheating may be jailed for up to four or 10 years respectively and given a fine.

The five remaining suspects are being investigated for criminal breach of trust or criminal breach of trust as a servant.

Those found guilty of these offences face a jail term of up to seven or 15 years respectively, and may also be fined.

The police advised members of the public to adopt several measures to avoid falling victim to online purchase scams.

These include being wary of online advertisements of items at cheap prices that sound too good to be true, avoiding making payments or deposits in advance, and using shopping platforms that release one's payment to the seller only upon receipt of the item that was purchased.

To avoid being an accomplice to crimes, members of the public were also advised to reject 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.

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