Following a three-day operation conducted from 25 to 27 February 2019 by officers from Jurong Police Division, 18 men and eight women, aged between 16 and 70, are currently assisting in investigations for their suspected involvement in e-commerce scams and commercial crime-related offences. The suspects are believed to be involved in 50 cases where victims have lost more than $460,000.

21 of the suspects are being investigated for the offence of money laundering and they are believed to have allowed their bank accounts to be used to facilitate scams. Anyone found guilty of money laundering under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, may be punished with imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or a fine of up to S$500,000.

Three of the suspects are being investigated for the offence of cheating. If found guilty of cheating, they can be punished with imprisonment for up to 10 years and a fine under the Penal Code.

The remaining two suspects are being investigated for the offence of criminal breach of trust as a servant under the Penal Code which carries a punishment of imprisonment which may extend to 15 years and shall also be liable to a fine.

Police take a serious view against any person who may be involved in scams and frauds, and the perpetrators will be dealt with accordingly to the law.

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

Don't be impulsive � Be wary of online advertisements of items at cheap prices that sound too good to be true! Do not buy on impulse. Read the reviews of the seller before committing to a purchase.

Don't believe � Scammers may use a local bank account or provide a copy of a NRIC/driver's licence to make you believe that they are genuine sellers. Do not fall for it!

Don't give � As you are dealing with strangers, avoid making payments or deposits in advance. Try to use shopping platforms/arrangements that release your payment to the seller only upon receipt of the item. Alternatively, arrange to meet the seller and pay only on delivery.

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

If you wish to provide any information related to such scams, please call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. If you require urgent Police assistance, please dial '999'.

To seek scam-related advice, you may call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg Join the 'let's fight scams' campaign at www.scamalert.sg/fight by signing up as an advocate to receive up-to-date scam prevention messages and share them with your family and friends. Together, we can help prevent our loved ones from becoming the next victim of scam.

Source: Singapore Police Force