CNA – Singaporean Police have arrested 13 people suspected of being involved in a recent spate of rental scams, with proceeds amounting to more than SGD1.3 million.
The police said yesterday that the nine men and four women, aged between 18 and 56, were nabbed during a four-day island-wide enforcement operation that ended on Monday.
“Scammers would impersonate legitimate property agents and ask victims for payment to secure the rental of a unit before viewing the property as part of the scams,” said the police.
They added that three other women, aged between 21 and 27, are assisting in investigations. Preliminary investigations showed that 16 people purportedly received illicit proceeds from rental scams in their bank accounts.
“They allegedly allowed their bank accounts to be used to receive the illicit proceeds and withdrew the proceeds, which were then handed to others in the syndicate for easy money,” police said. “Scam proceeds amounting to more than GD1.3 million from 480 rental scam cases were dissipated via cash withdrawals from bank accounts.”
Police also reminded the public to always reject requests to allow their bank accounts to be used to receive and transfer money for others to avoid being involved in money laundering activities.
It added that the public should adopt precautionary measures when securing appointments to view properties.
This includes downloading the ScamShield app and setting security features such as transaction limits on Internet banking transactions and enabling two-factor or multifactor authentication for banks and social media.
They should also check for scam signs with official sources and verify the legitimacy of a property listing with the Council of Estate Agencies (CEA).