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A transnational job scam syndicate based in Johor was successfully dismantled by the Singapore and Malaysia police in a joint investigation.
On June 21, officers from the Johor Police Contingent (JPC) raided four premises in Johor and arrested 11 Malaysian women and 11 Malaysian men, aged between 15 and 28.
The suspects are believed to be part of a criminal syndicate responsible for job scams involving more than 250 victims in Singapore this year.
During the operation, 48 telecommunication devices, 12 laptops and training booklets were seized.
The director of Singapore's Commercial Affairs Department David Chew said: "The syndicate had used various means to reach victims across international boundaries with bogus job offers that promised lucrative returns.
"As part of the ruse, victims had to place orders on e-commerce platforms and make payment to third-party bank accounts, on the pretext of increasing the merchants’ online ratings.
"The Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) has successfully conducted a joint enforcement operation with law enforcement across international boundaries in response to this threat.
"I would like to thank Chief of JPC, Commissioner of Police Dato’ Ayob Khan Bin Mydin Pitchay, Director of the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID), Commissioner of Police Dato’ Mohd Kamarudin Bin Md Din, and their officers for their strong support and commitment in tackling transnational crime syndicates.
"While we continue this fight against scams, we cannot do this alone.
"Members of the public can and must take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones from falling prey to scammers."
To combat scams perpetrated by foreign syndicates targeting victims in Singapore, the police will continue to work closely with foreign law enforcement agencies, and to monitor and share information on emerging scams.
The police advise the members of the public on the following:
If it is too good to be true, it probably is. Do not accept dubious job offers that offer lucrative returns for minimal effort;
If you are invited to a social media group chats promoting part-time jobs affiliated to any online marketplaces, decline the invitation and report the group to the messaging platform via their in-app reporting channel, block the numbers and submit it via the Scamshield application;
Always verify the authenticity of the job offer with the official e-commerce website. E-commerce platforms will never ask you to transfer money to bank accounts on the promise that they will refund you with a commission;
Do not click on suspicious URLs or download applications from unknown sources.
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit 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.