500 suspected scammers and money mules aged 16 to 76 rounded up in island-wide police operation

A total of 358 men and 142 women, aged between 16 and 76, were rounded up to assist in investigations for their suspected involvement as scammers or money mules.

It was one of two island-wide operations conducted by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and the seven police land divisions between Feb 10 and 24.

The 500 suspects are believed to be involved in more than 1,712 cases of scams, comprising mainly investment scams, job scams, e-commerce scams, phishing scams, loan scams, and government officials impersonation scams, where victims reportedly lost over $8.6 million.

Police investigations are ongoing for the alleged offences of cheating, money laundering or providing payment services without a licence.

In the second operation, the Anti-Scam Centre (ASC) of CAD and six banks conducted live interventions by analysing the fund flows of more than 80 bank accounts, which were surfaced in investment and job scam reports.

The six banks are CIMB, DBS, HSBC, OCBC, Standard Chartered Bank and UOB.

The ASC, seven police land divisions and banks worked together to engage unsuspecting victims who had been transferring money into these scam-tainted bank accounts.

More than 680 unsuspecting victims were alerted that they could have fallen prey to scams and were advised to stop any further monetary transfers.

Many of these victims only realised that they had been deceived after they were engaged and convinced by the police.

Scam proceeds amounting to more than $76,000 were seized and the police further prevented these scam victims from financial losses amounting to more than $260,000.

You are advised to remain vigilant and adopt the following crime prevention measures:

  • Be wary when receiving unsolicited offers of investment or job opportunities via social media platforms or chat applications.
  • Understand that investments with high returns will come with high risks.
  • Always check with a licensed financial advisor before making any investment.
  • Do not be enticed by ‘jobs’ that promise the convenience of working from home and unusually high salary for relatively easy responsibilities. No legitimate business will require employees to utilise their own bank accounts to receive monies on the business’ behalf.

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.