With the recent spate of scams targeting the vulnerable, local authorities have been hard at work to bring justice. And a breakthrough has finally been made, with 35 nabbed in an islandwide operation.
The operation spanned four days and was conducted between several banks and the Singapore Police Force (SPF).
35 individuals suspected of being involved in investment, job, and Singpass scams have been arrested. These suspects are linked to 1,200 cases and are among 225 individuals currently assisting with investigations.
In light of the investigations, SPF urges the general public to be cautious of scams.
According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), officers arrested 29 men and six women, aged 16 to 66, in connection with investment and job scams.
The joint operation was conducted between 22 and 25 Mar by local banks in collaboration with SPF. These banks include DBS, OCBC, UOB, HSBC, and Standard Chartered.
They were also able to intervene in more than 150 ongoing scams during the operation. This was done by tracing victims through bank accounts flagged in scam reports.
225 individuals, including some of the suspects, are assisting with investigations for about 1,200 cases involving more than S$31 million.
According to TODAY Online, the investment scammers claimed to be finance professionals and lured victims through social media.
The scammers would then introduce their targets to “investment experts” claiming to be sharing tips for managing finances.
In some cases, victims would gain a small profit from the initial stage of the investment, convincing them of the legitimacy of the deal.
As for the job scams, CNA reported that victims typically responded to advertisements on social media promising quick cash grabs.
Victims would be told to purchase items online, supposedly to boost sales figures. They would then be promised their money back in full with a large commission or bonus.
Once again, the victims would also profit at first, leading them to trust the agreement.
In addition, The Straits Times (ST) reported that officers raided the homes of those involved in Singpass scams, although the number of such arrests was not revealed.
These individuals would sell their Singpass details to fraudsters, helping them open bank accounts and launder money via online services.
Scams have been on the rise in Singapore, with S$630 million lost to scams last year — more than double the amount in 2020.
SPF has, therefore, warned the public not to fall prey to scams by being cautious of unsolicited investment or job offers.
With scams on the rise, it is even more important to remain alert. The fallout from these crimes can be severe for victims, as seen by the reported loss in finances.
Such job and investment offers may seem attractive at first glance — however, this is precisely how victims fall for them in the first place.
We hope that the operation will provide solace to those affected by scammers. We also urge the public to stay vigilant of scams, as a single misstep can lead to consequences too drastic to recover from.
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Featured image adapted from Flickr and by MS News.
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