Woman arrested for alleged involvement in home rental scams that caused victims to lose over $10,000

SINGAPORE - A 46-year-old woman was arrested on Tuesday (April 27) for her suspected involvement in a series of home rental scams that resulted in more than $10,000 lost by the victims.

Between Jan 10 and April 7 this year, the police received six reports of home rental scams.

The police in a statement on Wednesday (April 28) said that victims had responded to online advertisements for a Bedok North residential unit for rent, put up by the woman, who was the unit's owner.

The woman had allegedly demanded for advance rental deposits and payments from victims interested in renting the unit.

Through follow-up investigations, officers from Bedok Police Division established the identity of the woman and arrested her on Tuesday. Preliminary investigations revealed that there at least six victims.

The woman will be charged in court on Wednesday with cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code, which carries an imprisonment term of up to 10 years, and a fine.

The police reminded members of the public to be wary of such home rental scams, and to visit housing properties and units to verify they exist, and make sure that the person they deal with is the rightful owner of the unit, or an accredited real estate agent.

To find out if the listing is a scam, they should search for identical residential unit advertisements placed elsewhere.

The police also reminded members of the public not to pay rental deposits or rent to the salesperson.

"Payments should be made directly to the property owner and only after all parties have signed the tenancy agreement," the police added.

For more information on scams, members of the public can visit scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline 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.