277 people under probe over scams that cost victims $5.8m in total

The suspects are under investigation for their suspected involvement as scammers or money mules. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - A total of 277 people are being investigated for suspected involvement in more than 767 scam cases, said the police on Friday (June 10).

The cases were mainly bank-related phishing scams, Internet love scams, business e-mail impersonation scams, government official impersonation scams, e-commerce scams, investment scams, job scams and loan scams.

The victims lost more than $5.8 million.

The suspects are aged between 16 and 78, and are under investigation for their suspected involvement as scammers or money mules.

They were identified after a two-week operation conducted by officers from the Commercial Affairs Department and the seven police land divisions between May 27 and Thursday.

The 197 men and 80 women are suspected of the offences of cheating, money laundering or providing payment services without a licence.

Cheating carries a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine, while money laundering carries a jail term not exceeding 10 years, a fine not exceeding $500,000, or both.

Those convicted of running a business to provide any type of payment service in Singapore without a licence face a fine not exceeding $125,000, imprisonment of up to three years, or both.

The police said they take a serious stance against anyone who may be involved in scams and that perpetrators will be dealt with in accordance with the law.

To avoid being an accomplice to crimes, the police advised the public to always reject requests by others to use their bank accounts or mobile phone lines as they will be held accountable if these are linked to crimes.

For more information on scams, people can visit the Scam Alert website or call the anti-scam hotline on 1800-722-6688.

Those with information related to scams can call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit it online at their website.

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