Man arrested for rental scam; victims' losses amount to $54,000
The police arrested a 32-year-old man on Monday (March 14) for his suspected involvement in a series of rental scams that amounted to $54,700 in losses for victims.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the police said that they received reports from several individuals who had fallen victim to the scam between January and March this year.
The victims had responded to online advertisements offering residential units for rent.
After they paid a deposit by bank transfer to the man, he became uncontactable.
The man's identity was established after follow-up investigations by officers from the Woodlands police division who then arrested him.
The police said that preliminary investigations revealed he may have been involved in 24 similar cases and will be charged in court on Wednesday.
If found guilty of cheating, he can be jailed for up to 10 years and receive a fine.
The police have advised members of the public to adopt the following measures to avoid falling prey to rental scams: Ensure that the person you deal with is the rightful owner of the unit or an accredited real estate agent by verifying their details and contact number with the agency. Ask to visit the unit and verify with the owner if the rental offer exists and is genuine.
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit this website or call the Anti-Scam Hotline on1800-722-6688.
Anyone with information on such scams may call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit information online.