A 38-year-old woman has been arrested for her suspected involvement in a series of internet love scams in which the victims were cheated of a total of $216,000.
In early October, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) received reports from several victims who were purportedly asked by online scammers to transfer money to various local bank accounts, said an SPF news release on Tuesday (14 November).
According to investigations by the Commercial Affairs Department, the bank account holders transferred the cash to the suspect, who is believed to have carried the money out of Singapore and delivered it to members of an internet love scam syndicate.
The release added that Singapore has seen an increase in the number of people cheated by internet love scams. In the first six months of this year, the police received 349 cases of such scams compared with 277 over the same period in 2016.
In these cases, the victims unsuspectingly befriended scammers on social media platforms and developed online relationships with them. The scammers would then cheat the victims by asking them to transfer money for various fictitious purposes, such as business loans, legal fees or courier fees for parcels that the scammers claimed were being sent to the victims.
Anyone found guilty of acquiring or transferring criminal benefits under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Offences (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment, or a fine up to S$500,000, or both.
The SPF release added that, anyone found guilty for failing to give requisite reports on cash movements out of Singapore, may be punished with imprisonment of up to 3 years, or a fine up to S$50,000, or both.
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