Woman arrested for home rental scams: Over $43,000 lost by victims

A 42-year-old woman will be charged in court on Wednesday (Nov 16) for her suspected involvement in a series of rental scams.

The police said that they received eighteen reports of home rental scams involving more than $43,000 lost by victims between June and November 2022.

The victims had posted online advertisements looking for a residential unit to rent and the woman had contacted them to offer her unit.

"Unbeknownst to the victims, the woman was in the midst of selling the unit to a new owner and had collected advance rental deposits and payments from them before signing on the rental agreements," police added.

Through follow-up investigations, officers from Woodlands Police Division established the woman's identity and arrested her on Monday.

The woman will be charged in court with cheating, which carries a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine.

Members of the public are reminded to be wary of such scams and to adopt the following crime prevention measures:

  • Do not make any advance payment until the tenancy is confirmed, and pay the rental deposit and rents by cheque or via bank transfer for documentary proof;

  • Visit the housing unit which you intend to rent to confirm its existence, state of condition and signs of multiple subletting; and

  • Verify the identities of the person/s whom you are dealing with and their relationship to the housing unit, especially when you are not engaging the services of a licensed estate agent or registered salespersons.

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.

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