Following a five-day operation conducted by Bedok Police Division between 30 July and 3 Aug 2018, 30 men and 25 women between the ages of 18 and 71 are being investigated for their alleged involvement in various scams and other "commercial crime-related cases".
"These cases include e-commerce scams, loan scams and commercial frauds reported in Pasir Ris, Tampines and Bedok estates," according to Singapore Police Force (SPF)'s Facebook post, "with transactions exceeding S$1.8 million".
Should the suspects be found guilty of the offence of cheating, they will be faced with jail for up to 10 years, and a fine, under the Penal Code.
The suspects are also being investigated for the offence of money laundering which, under s.47(6) Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, carries a punishment of imprisonment for up to 10 years, or a fine of up to S$500,000, or both.
Previously, 8 men and 6 women aged between 18 and 43, were placed under SPF investigations for allegedly partaking in the process of carrying out "various scams and commercial crime-related offences" in 42 cases that involved a sum of at least S$338,000, after "a two-day operation conducted from 23 to 24 July 2018 by officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division".
The cases, which were purported to have taken place in Punggol and Sengkang, also included e-commerce and loan scams.
In its press release on 26 July regarding the matter, the SPF has advised the public to stay vigilant against the threat of scammers when making e-commerce transactions by adopting the following measures:
a) Make your online purchases only from reputable vendors;
b) If advanced payments are necessary, only transact with people you know and trust.
c) Check that the person or company you are buying from is physically located where they claim to be.
d) Check the company or seller’s track record. Make enquiries with the clients and customers about the service they received from the seller.
e) Never give your bank account numbers, credit card numbers and personal information to anyone you do not know or have not checked out.
f) Do not provide any information that is not necessary to make the purchase.
g) Do be mindful that scammers may use a local bank account for the transaction to enhance their credibility. The owner of the bank account may not be the person communicating with you online.
The SPF added that "members of the public can visit scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688" to obtain more information on scams.
The SPF also warned the public to "always reject requests by others to use your bank account or handphone lines as you will be held accountable if there are illegal transactions found in the accounts".