After conducting an operation from August 28 to 29, officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division arrested 18 people, aged between 17 and 67, due to their suspected involvement in various scams and commercial crime-related offences.
In a news release, the police stated that the suspects,13 men and five women, are believed to be involved in 72 cases, including e-commerce and loan scams, where victims have lost a total of more than S$103,180. The online scam cases were reported in Sengkang, Hougang and Yishun.
Police said that they are interrogating these suspects for the alleged offence of cheating. As per the Penal Code Section 420, "Whoever cheats and thereby dishonestly induces the person deceived to deliver any property to any person, or to make, alter or destroy the whole or any part of a valuable security, or anything which is signed or sealed, and which is capable of being converted into a valuable security, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to fine."
Police also added that in case of money laundering under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, if the court found the person guilty then he or she has to face 10 years of imprisonment, with or without a fine up to S$500,000.
The officials also advised people to follow some measures to avoid being a victim of online purchase scams and these are:
- 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;
- 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; and
- 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.
If anyone wants to know more about such scams then they are advised to visit scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688. In case of sharing any information about such scams with police, people are also asked to call on the hotline number 1800-255 0000 or can submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.