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SPF probe 157 as possible scammers and money mules in nearly 500 cases

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Even as scammers continue to be a plague, the police are onto their case. But can they get ahead and stay ahead of the crooks?

Singapore – The Singapore Police Force is cracking down hard on scammers, and investigating 157 individuals suspected of participating in a variety of scams that have cost victims more than $2 million.

Officers from the Commercial Affairs Department and the seven Police Land Divisions conducted a two-week operation between Jan 28 and Feb 10, probing 97 men and 60 women,  16 and 71, thought to be linked to the scams.

The suspects are believed to be involved in more than 495 cases, mainly Internet love scams, e-commerce scams, bank-related phishing scams, tech support scams, China or Government Officials impersonation scams, investment scams, job scams and loan scams, where victims lost more than $2 million,  the SPF said in a press release on Friday.

They are being investigated for cheating, money laundering or providing payment services without a licence.

Scamalert.sg posted a phishing and impersonation scam story shared by an anonymous individual.

“Through a call, a lady claiming she is from the technical dept having issues with my WIFI, reported higher consumption in the past week,” said the individual.

“When asked what my subscriber is, she couldn’t answer and repeatedly answered twice she’s from the technical dept. Forcing her into answering me, that’s when she said she’s from Starhub and Singtel, but none of those are my WIFI subscriber, asked if I was Natasha (not my name), and so she hung up the phone.”

Scamalert.sg warns people not to be fooled by unsolicited phone callers claiming to be from Singtel, Starhub, the police.

Under Section 420 of the Penal Code 1871, the offence of cheating carries an imprisonment term of up to 10 years and a fine.

Under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act 1992,  the maximum penalty for money laundering is 10 years’ jail and a $500,000 fine. For carrying on a business to provide any unlicensed payment service in Singapore  under Section 5 of the Payment Services Act 2019, the maximum penalty is a S$125,000 and three years’ jail.

“The Police take a serious stance against any person who may be involved in scams, and perpetrators will be dealt with in accordance with the law,” said SPF.

SPF’s advice is that you always reject requests by others to use your personal bank accounts or mobile lines, because you will be held accountable if these are linked to crimes.

For more information on scams, visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688.

If you have information on such scams, call the Police Hotline1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. All information will be kept strictly confidential./TISG

Read related: Best online security practices to protect yourself from scammers

Best online security practices to protect yourself from scammers

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