SINGAPORE - Eighty-one people were arrested for their suspected involvement in 244 cases of scams totalling more than $1.4 million, following a three-day operation conducted between Monday (March 27) and Wednesday.
The suspects comprise 46 men and 35 women, aged between 16 and 65, police said in a news release on Thursday.
All the suspects are being investigated for cheating or money laundering.
Cheating carries a punishment of imprisonment for up to 10 years and a fine. Any person found guilty of money laundering may be jailed for up to 10 years, fined up to $500,000, or both.
The police said they would continue such enforcement operations and take firm actions against any party involved in scams.
Persons found to have allowed their bank accounts or handphone numbers to be used by criminals may also be investigated and prosecuted.
Members of the public should take the following precautions to avoid becoming a scam victim:
- Do not share your personal information such as your identification number, bank account number, One-Time Passwords, or SMS-verification codes with anyone. Your personal information may be abused by scammers;
- Bear in mind that the party you are dealing with online is a stranger. Before performing a transaction, find out how the online site safeguards your interest or can help you resolve disputes;
- Whenever possible, pay only on delivery;
- Buy goods from authorised dealers. If advanced payments are required, use shopping platforms that provide arrangements to only release your payment to the seller upon your receipt of the item;
- Be mindful that although scammers may provide a copy of an Identification Card or driver's licence to gain your trust, it may not necessarily belong to the person communicating with you online.
In addition, members of the public should always reject requests to use your bank accounts or handphone lines as you will be held accountable if there are illegal transactions found in those accounts.