More than 300 people under investigation for scams that led to loss of over $11m, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

More than 300 people under investigation for scams that led to loss of over $11m

Some 306 people are being investigated for their involvement in more than 1,000 scam cases in which victims lost over $11 million.

The 208 men and 98 women, aged between 15 and 73 years, are being questioned after an operation by officers from the Commercial Affairs Department and seven police land divisions that took place between Feb 16 and 29, the police said on March 1.

The suspects are believed to have pulled off friend impersonation, e-commerce, jobs, investment and Internet love scams.

They are being investigated for a range of offences, including cheating, money laundering and providing payment services without a licence.

Those found guilty of cheating may be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

Those found guilty of money laundering may be jailed for up to 10 years, fined a maximum of $500,000 or both.

Those found guilty of carrying on a business to provide a payment service without a licence may be fined up to $125,000, jailed for up to three years, or both.

On Feb 18, The Straits Times reported that the number of scam cases in Singapore hit a record high in 2023, with victims losing $651.8 million.

There were 46,563 cases reported in 2023, the highest number since the police started tracking them in 2016.

The most common ruse victims fell prey to was job scams, with 9,914 cases reported and at least $135.7 million lost in total, up from $117.4 million in 2022.

The police reminded the public to remain vigilant and to refuse requests by others to use their bank accounts or mobile phone lines as they can be held accountable if these are used to commit crimes.

To help the public stay informed about scams and how to avoid them, people can visit the Scam Alert website or call the Anti-Scam Helpline on 1800-722-6688.

Anyone with information on scam activities is encouraged to contact the police hotline or submit information through their online portal. The police said all tips will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.