SINGAPORE: On Tuesday (24 July),. The Singapore Police Force confirmed investigations into 620 suspects, associated with scams and money mule operations, resulting in a reported loss of over S$21 million by the victims.
The individuals involved, comprising 421 men and 203 women aged between 16 and 71 years, are suspected to be linked with over 2,600 incidents.
These cases predominantly consist of job scams, internet love scams, e-commerce scams, loan scams, phishing scams, and impersonations of government officials. The police’s Commercial Affairs Department and the seven police land divisions have jointly rounded up the suspects in a concentrated effort spanning two weeks from 7th to 20th July.
The accused are currently under scrutiny for potential offences that include cheating, money laundering, and the provision of payment services without proper licensing. If convicted of cheating, the individuals could face a jail term of up to ten years along with a fine. Money laundering convictions carry the same potential prison sentence, but with a possible fine of up to S$500,000, or both.
The suspects could also face penalties of up to S$125,000 in fines, three years of imprisonment, or both, if found guilty of operating unlicensed payment services.
SPF reiterated its uncompromising stance against anyone involved in scams, urging the public to steer clear from participating in such illicit activities.
Citizens were cautioned against allowing their bank accounts or mobile lines to be used by others, as they may inadvertently be implicated in these crimes.
SPF reported a significant 25.2% increase in scam and cybercrime cases, surging to 33,669 in 2022 from 26,886 cases the previous year in 2021.
Scams formed a staggering 94.2% of these 33,669 cases. The total number of scam cases saw a 32.6% rise, climbing to 31,728 in 2022 from 23,933 cases in 2021.
The cumulative amount reported to have been defrauded from all scams also increased, albeit by a smaller margin of 4.5%, from S$632.0 million in 2021 to S$660.7 million in 2022.
For further information on scams, the public can visit scamalert.sg or contact the Anti-Scam Hotline on 1800-722-6688.
To report any knowledge of such scams, citizens can contact the police directly on 1800-255-0000 or submit the information online at police.gov.sg/iwitness.