Police probe 146 people suspected to be involved in scams that cheated victims of $1.15 million

Covid-19 related scams made up one in four e-commerce scams.
Covid-19 related scams made up one in four e-commerce scams.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A total of 146 people suspected to be involved in scams - comprising mostly love scams, online purchase scams and loan scams - are assisting the police with investigations.

The 97 male and 49 female suspects, aged 16 to 87, are believed to be involved in 375 scam cases costing victims more than $1.15 million.

The police said on Monday (May 18) this comes after a two-week enforcement operation between May 1 and last Friday.

Data released earlier by the police showed that scammers cheated $41.3 million from victims in the first three months of the year, a 27.9 per cent increase compared with the figure a year ago.

Covid-19 related scams made up one in four e-commerce scams, which was the most common ruse by perpetrators in the first quarter.

The police in its latest statement said the men and women are being investigated for cheating or money laundering.

If found guilty for cheating, a person can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined. Money laundering carries a jail term of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $500,000, or both.

They also advised the public to reject all requests by others to use their bank account or mobile line as they will be held accountable if their accounts are linked to illegal transactions.

Those with information on scams can call the police on 1800-255-0000 or submit it online.