SINGAPORE - A total of 73 suspected scammers who allegedly cheated victims of more than $107,000 are being investigated by the police.
The 45 men and 28 women are believed to be involved in 188 cases of scams, comprising mostly e-commerce scams, the police said in a statement on Friday (April 5).
They are between the ages of 15 and 66, added the police, who had mounted a three-day enforcement operation that ended on Thursday.
The suspects are being investigated for cheating or money laundering.
Anyone convicted of cheating may be jailed up to 10 years and fined.
Those found guilty of money laundering face a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $500,000.
In the statement, the police advised the public to adopt the following measures to avoid falling victim to online purchase scams:
- Don't be impulsive: Be wary of online advertisements of items at cheap prices that sound too good to be true. Do not buy on impulse. Read the reviews of the seller before committing to a purchase.
- Don't believe: Scammers may use a local bank account or provide a copy of an NRIC or driver's licence to dupe buyers into believing that they are genuine sellers.
- Don't give: Avoid making payments or deposits in advance. Try to use shopping platforms or arrangements that release payment to the seller only upon receipt of the item. Alternatively, arrange to meet the seller and pay only on delivery.
To avoid being an accomplice to crimes, the public should always reject requests from others to use their bank account or mobile lines.
They may be held accountable if these accounts are linked to illegal transactions.
For more information on scams, the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the anti-scam hotline on 1800-722-6688.
Anyone with information on such scams may call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness