16 men and six women, aged between 14 and 61, are assisting with investigations following a three-day operation conducted by Jurong Police Division between 27 and 29 August 2018. The suspects are believed to be involved in 49 scams and commercial crime cases, with transactions amounting to about $297,000.

The suspects are either being investigated for cheating under the Penal Code, which carries a punishment of imprisonment for up to 10 years and a fine, or money laundering under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, which carries a punishment of imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or a fine of up to S$500,000.

Commander of Jurong Police Division, Assistant Commissioner of Police Devrajan Bala said, I would like to commend the officers for the hard work in the identification and rounding up of the suspects in these cases. Members of the public are advised to be wary of online advertisements where deals might appear too good to be true. take a serious view against any person who may be involved in scams, and those found perpetrating scams will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Members of the public are advised to adopt the following measures to avoid falling victim to online purchase scams:

a. 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;

b. 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;

c. 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

d. 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.

To avoid being an accomplice to crimes, members of the public should always reject requests by others to use your bank account or handphone lines as you will be held accountable if there are illegal transactions found in the accounts.

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 www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.

Source: Singapore Police Force