Singapore Police Force (SPF) has arrested 46 men and 35 women, aged between 16 and 65.
The suspects were rounded up for their involvement in 244 cases of scams involving more than S$1.4 million.
All of them were arrested in a three-day operation conducted between 27 March and 29 March 2017.
All of the suspects are being investigated for the offence of cheating which carries a punishment of imprisonment for up to 10 years and a fine, or money laundering which carries a punishment of imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or a fine of up to S$500,000 under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act.
The police stated that it will continue such enforcement operations and take firm actions against any party involved in scams. Persons found to have allowed their bank accounts or handphone numbers to be used by criminals may also be investigated and prosecuted.
The police advises members of the public to take the following precautions to avoid becoming a scam victim:
- Do not share your personal information such as your identification number, bank account number, One-Time Passwords, or SMS-verification codes with anyone. Your personal information may be abused by scammers.
- Bear in mind that the party you are dealing with online is a stranger. Before performing a transaction, find out how the online site safeguards your interest or can help you resolve disputes. Whenever possible, pay only on delivery.
- Buy goods from authorised dealers. If advanced payments are required, use shopping platforms that provide arrangements to only release your payment to the seller upon your receipt of the item.
- Be mindful that although scammers may provide a copy of an Identification Card or Driver’s licence to gain your trust, it may not necessarily belong to the person communicating with you online.
The police also alerts members of the public to avoid being an accomplice to crimes. The public always reject requests to use their bank account or handphone lines as they will be held accountable if there are illegal transactions found in the accounts.