296 People Under Police Probe for Scams in S’pore & 1 is 80 Years Old

If I asked you to think of a scammer, what would you picture?

Most people would visualize a 30-something with glasses in a dark and dingy room with a bag of potato chips on their left and a six-pack of Red Bull on their right.

At least that’s what they look like in the movies.

But these scammers, who have been working from home before it became mainstream, don’t need much to carry out their scams other than some communications devices and devious plans.

So the scammer who you fell in love with could be that 30-something above, or an 80-year-old senior citizen.

296 People Under Police Probe for Scams in S’pore & 1 is 80 Years Old

An 80-year-old is among 296 suspects whom the police are investigating for their suspected involvement in more than 1,000 cases of various scams.

The suspects – 194 men and 102 women – are aged between 16 and 80. They are accused either of carrying out the scams themselves or contributing as money mules.

There were five main types of scams identified by the police, namely:

  • internet love scams
  • e-commerce scams
  • culprits impersonating China officials
  • culprits impersonating government officials
  • scams related to investments, jobs, and loans

In total, victims lost more than $6.4 million from these scams.

Between 22 Oct and Nov 5, officers from the Commercial Affairs Department and seven police land divisions conducted a two-week operation as part of their investigations into the scams.

They identified and nabbed the 296 during the operation.

The police reminded the public that they can be implicated if they allow others to use their bank accounts to facilitate crimes.

Those convicted of money laundering can face up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $500,000, or both.

The penalty for cheating is a fine and a jail term of up to 10 years as well.

How To Avoid a Scam

Scams come in various forms, and some are harder to spot than others.

Here are some signs of a traditional scam:

  • Use of urgent or threatening language – Be wary of emails with phrases such as ‘urgent action required’ or ‘your account will be terminated’. These criminals are trying to make you panic so you’ll provide confidential information.
  • Promises of attractive rewards – Scammers will try to entice you by offering amazing deals or unbelievable prizes for doing a small thing, like clicking on a pop-up or completing an online survey to win a trip to Europe.
  • Requests for confidential information – Most organisations will never ask for your personal information such as NRIC, login credentials, and credit card details to be sent over the Internet. . Never give out personal banking information and always call your bank to clarify if you receive such a call.

The best way to spot a scam is to understand that scammers always want something from you, whether it’s personal information or banking information.

You might also want to watch these videos that we’ve done in collaboration with the Singapore Police Force:

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Featured Image: Bonma Suriya / Shutterstock.com (Image is for illustration purpose only)