SINGAPORE - Two women, aged 55 and 60 years old, will be charged in court on Thursday (March 10) for their suspected involvement in two separate Internet love scams.
The police said in a statement on Wednesday night that in the first series of scams, it received two separate reports from victims who befriended individuals unknown to them on social media.
The victims were told by these individuals that they had payment issues and urgently needed the victims' assistance to transfer money to them.
The victims transferred a total of $6,800 to two local bank accounts belonging to the same account holder.
But they realised they had been cheated when they were told to make further payments and subsequently lodged a police report.
In the second series of scams, investigations revealed that one victim befriended a man through social media.
He claimed that he had sent a parcel to Singapore and needed the victim's help to retrieve it.
"The victim was subsequently notified by unknown scammers to transfer various payments for delivery, storage, insurance fees and Customs clearance certificates for the parcel to be released," said the police.
The victim transferred a total of $10,000 through several transactions to a local bank account.
She subsequently realised she had been cheated when she was asked for more money, and she lodged a police report.
"Through investigations, the police uncovered other Internet love scam victims who had transferred various amounts to the same bank account, as well as to another three bank accounts belonging to the same account holder," said the police.
The 60-year-old woman will be charged with the offence of cheating as well as unauthorised access to computer materials.
Those found guilty of cheating may be jailed for up to three years, fined, or both.
Anyone found guilty of unauthorised access to computer materials may face imprisonment of up to two years, fined up to $5,000, or both.
The 55-year-old woman will be charged with the offence of assisting another to retain benefits from criminal conduct. Those found guilty may be jailed for up to 10 years, fined up to $500,000, or both.
The police said they take a serious stance against anyone who may be involved in scams, and perpetrators will be dealt with in accordance with the law.
"To avoid being an accomplice to crimes, members of the public should always reject requests by others to use your bank account or mobile lines as you will be held accountable if these are linked to crimes," added the police.
Members of the public who receive or are asked to receive funds from unknown or dubious sources are urged to contact the Anti-Scam Helpline at 1800-722-6688.
Anyone with information on such scams may call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at this website.