SINGAPORE – Live interventions by the police and banks helped prevent losses of more than $260,000 involving over 680 scam victims in a sting operation conducted in February.
A total of 500 scammers and money mules have also been hauled up for investigations after an islandwide enforcement operation.
Between Feb 10 and 24, officers from the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and the seven police land divisions conducted two separate islandwide operations, police said on Saturday.
One of the operations was conducted in collaboration with six banks, namely CIMB, DBS Bank, HSBC, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and UOB.
The banks and CAD’s Anti-Scam Centre conducted live interventions by analysing the fund flows of more than 80 bank accounts, which were surfaced in investment and job scam reports.
Together with seven police land divisions, the centre and the banks worked 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 realised they had been deceived only after the police engaged them.
Scam proceeds amounting to more than $76,000 were seized and the police prevented these scam victims from further financial losses amounting to more than $260,000.
The police said they take a serious stance against any person who may be involved in scams, and perpetrators will be dealt with in accordance with the law.
In the other operation, officers rounded up 358 men and 142 women, aged between 16 and 76, to assist in investigations for their suspected involvement as scammers or money mules.
The suspects are believed to be involved in more than 1,700 scams where victims reportedly lost over $8.6 million.
These scams mainly include investment scams, job scams, e-commerce scams, phishing scams, loan scams, and government officials impersonation scams.
Police investigations are ongoing for the alleged offences of cheating, money laundering or providing payment services without a licence.
The offence of cheating carries a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine.
The offence of money laundering carries a jail term of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $500,000, or both.
The offence of carrying on a business to provide any type of payment service in Singapore without a licence carries a jail term of up to three years, a fine of up to $125,000, or both.