55 suspects hauled up for scams involving more than $1.8 million

30 men and 25 women have been rounded up by the police in a five-day operation conducted by Bedok Police Division.
30 men and 25 women have been rounded up by the police in a five-day operation conducted by Bedok Police Division. PHOTOS: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - The police have rounded up 30 men and 25 women, aged between 18 and 71, in relation to 77 scams and commercial crime-related cases.

Transactions from the cases exceeded $1.8 million, the police said in a statement on Sunday morning (Aug 5).

The suspects are helping with police investigations. They were identified after an investigation, and rounded up in a five-day operation conducted by Bedok Police Division which started on Monday (July 30).

It is understood that the suspects include Singaporeans, Malaysians, Filipinos and Indians. The cases were reported in Pasir Ris, Tampines and Bedok.

A police spokesman said the scams include e-commerce scams. For example, where victims responded to an advertisement on marketing platform Carousell and sent money but did not receive their items.

There were also loan scams, she added, where victims replied to advertisements promising certain interest rates on Facebook.

Other cases include commercial crime-related ones, where firms lodged reports against staff for criminal breach of trust.

Assistant Commissioner Tan Tin Wee, commander of Bedok Police Division, said: "Police take a serious view against any person who may be involved in scams, and those found perpetrating scams will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

The suspects are being investigated for cheating and may be jailed for up to 10 years if found guilty.

The police added that the public should always reject requests by others to use their bank accounts or handphone lines as they will be held accountable if illegal transactions are found in the accounts.

The public is also advised to take the following precautions to deal with scams:

- Do not share your personal information such as your identification number, bank account number, one-time passwords, or SMS-verification codes with anyone. Your personal information may be abused by scammers.

- Bear in mind that the party you are dealing with online is a stranger. Before performing a transaction, find out how the online site safeguards your interest or can help you resolve disputes;

- Buy goods from authorised dealers. If advanced payments are required, use shopping platforms that provide arrangements to only release your payment to the seller upon your receipt of the item; 

- Be mindful that although scammers may provide a copy of an identification card or driver's licence to gain your trust, it may not necessarily belong to the person communicating with you online.

To find out more about scams, the public can visit scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688. Anyone with information on scams can call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit information online to www.police.gov.sg/iwitness