321 individuals investigated for involvement in scams after two-week operation

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SINGAPORE - Police have continued with their operations targeting scammers, launching investigations into 321 individuals aged between 16 and 72 for their roles in various ruses which saw victims lose over $9.6 million.

The suspects are believed to be involved in more than 998 cases of scams, comprising mainly of fake friend call scams, government and China Officials impersonation scams, investment scams, e-commerce scams, job scams, Internet love scams and loan scams.

The two-week long operation was conducted by officers from the Commercial Affairs Department and the seven police land divisions in mid-November.

The suspects - 197 men and 124 women - are being investigated over allegations of cheating, money laundering or providing payment services without a licence.

The police on Friday said it takes a serious stance against any person who may be involved in scams. 

“To avoid being an accomplice to crimes, members of the public should always reject requests by others to use your bank account or mobile lines as you will be held accountable if these are linked to crimes,” said the police. 

Those found guilty of cheating can be jailed up to 10 years and fined, while those convicted of money laundering can be jailed up to 10 years, fined up to $500,000 or both.

Those found guilty of carrying on a business to provide any type of payment service in Singapore without a license can be jailed up to three years, fined up to $125,000, or both. 

The police also warned of a resurgence of a scam variant, which sees game account sellers duped into paying administrative fees to facilitate the sale of their gaming accounts via fake online platforms.

At least 21 victims had fallen prey since February, with total losses amounting to at least $86,000.

The police said that in this scam variant, scammers would approach victims via gaming or e-commerce platforms and express their interest in purchasing the victims’ gaming accounts. 

Dubious URL links to seemingly reliable platforms, which facilitate the sale of gaming accounts, would then be sent. Once victims access the fak...

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