5 men charged for alleged link to syndicate behind fake friend call scams, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

5 men charged for alleged link to syndicate behind fake friend call scams

Five Malaysian men allegedly linked to a syndicate involved in fake friend call scams targeting Singaporeans, causing over $1.4 million in losses, were each handed a cheating charge on Jan 24.

They are: Kek Yuan Chun, 19; Chua Zi Huang, 23; Heng Guo Hao, 25; Loh Chuan Sheng, 35 and Yee Kong Yao, 36.

An advisory posted on the Singapore Police Force’s (SPF) website states that in such scams, offenders contact their targets through methods such as text messages, pretending to be someone they know.

The scammers then ask their victims for “financial assistance” before making off with their monies.

The police said on Jan 23 that from January to November 2023, more than 6,300 victims fell prey to fake friend call scams, resulting in losses of at least $21.1 million.

SPF and the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) then collaborated to share information on such cases.

SPF’s Commercial Affairs Department and RMP’s Johor Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) worked together to cripple a transnational syndicate said to be involved in fake friend call scams targeting Singaporeans.

On Jan 16, Malaysian authorities raided two apartments in Johor and arrested the five men.

SPF said: “Preliminary investigations revealed that the syndicate started their scam operations in June 2023. The syndicate is believed to be involved in more than 500 reports made, with total losses of more than $1.4 million.”

The five men were taken to Singapore on Jan 23, and their cases have been adjourned to Jan 31.

For cheating, an offender can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

COURT & CRIMEcrimecheatingSCAMS