More than 550 suspects under police probe for scams involving over $14m of victims’ money
More than 550 people are under investigation for their suspected involvement in over 1,700 scams where victims lost over $14 million, the police said on Friday.
The suspects comprise 372 men and 181 women aged 15 to 76.
They are now assisting with investigations into a variety of fraudulent schemes that have tricked unsuspecting victims out of substantial amounts of money. These include job scams, impersonation scams and Internet love scams.
The alleged offences include cheating, money laundering, or operating unlicensed payment services. Those found guilty of cheating face up to 10 years’ jail and a fine.
The offence of money laundering carries a jail term of up to 10 years, with a maximum fine of $500,000.
Unlicensed payment service providers could be fined up to $125,000, jailed for up to three years, or both.
During a two-week operation from Oct 20 to Nov 9, officers from the Commercial Affairs Department and the seven police land divisions carried out an islandwide enforcement operation targeting scam operations.
The police urge the public to remain vigilant and to refuse requests by others to use their bank accounts or mobile 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, the police advise them to 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.