SINGAPORE -More than 80 people are assisting with police investigations for their suspected involvement in scams, the police said in a statement on Saturday (May 11).
Officers from the Commercial Affairs Department and seven police divisions rounded up the 55 men and 29 women, aged between 14 and 78, in a five-day operation conducted between Monday and Friday.
The suspects are believed to be involved in 211 scam cases where victims have lost more than $198,000, most of which involve e-commerce scams.
The 84 suspects are being investigated for cheating or money laundering.
If found guilty of cheating, one can be jailed up to 10 years and fined.
Those convicted of money laundering can be jailed up to 10 years, fined up to $500,000, or both.
In the statement, the authorities advised members of the public to adopt several measures to avoid falling for online purchase scams:
- Be wary of online advertisements of items at cheap prices that sound too good to be true. Do not buy on impulse and read the reviews of the seller before committing to a purchase.
- Do not fall for scammers who use a local bank account or provide a copy of their identification to make you believe that they are genuine sellers.
- Avoid making payments or deposits in advance. Try to use platforms or arrangements that release payment to sellers upon receipt of the item, or arrange to meet the seller and pay on delivery.
The public should always reject requests by others to use your bank account or mobile lines to avoid being an accomplice to crimes, the police said.
Those who do so will be held accountable if the accounts are linked to illegal transactions.
For more information on scams, call 1800-722-6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg
Those who wish to provide information related to such crimes should call 1800-255-0000 or go to www.police.gov.sg/iwitness