5 men and 1 woman arrested for selling bank accounts, Singpass credentials

Five men and a woman, aged between 19 and 32, were arrested in an island-wide anti-scam enforcement operation between Nov 22 and 23.

The police said the Commercial Affairs Department are investigating five other men, aged between 20 and 24, for their suspected involvement in perpetrating scams.

In October 2021, the police observed that Singpass credentials were abused whereby scam syndicates used fraudulently obtained Singpass credentials to open multiple bank accounts online.

Most of the account holders were believed to have provided their Singpass one-time password to the scam syndicates.

Subsequently, the credentials were used by the scam syndicates to open bank accounts which served as conduits to receive funds from victims of investment scams, jobs scams, and Government officials impersonation scams.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the eleven people had allegedly facilitated criminal activities by selling their bank accounts and/or relinquishing their Singpass credentials to scam syndicates to create new bank accounts, and in some cases, for returns as much as $1,200 for each bank account sold.

Some are also believed to have rented their bank accounts to scammers or assisted them by carrying out bank transfers and withdrawals for monetary benefits.

Police investigations are ongoing.

The offence of cheating carries a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine. The offence of receiving stolen property carries a jail term of up to five years, a fine, or both.

The offence of money laundering carries a jail term of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $500,000, or both.

The police cautioned members of the public to be wary of job advertisements or investment opportunities that promise the convenience of working from home and being paid a high salary for relatively simple job responsibilities.

"Legitimate businesses will not require job seekers to utilise their bank accounts to receive money on behalf of the businesses or provide Singpass credentials to secure any job offers," the police said.

"These acts are common ruses used by scammers to lure individuals into participating in their schemes or scams.

"To avoid being involved in money laundering activities, members of the public should always reject requests to use their personal bank accounts to receive and transfer money for others and not to reveal their Singpass credentials for any reason."

For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688.

Anyone with information on such scams may call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.

All information will be kept strictly confidential.

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