SINGAPORE: The variety of faux playing platform rip-off instances elevated by greater than 18 occasions between 2019 and 2020, whereas funding scams registered a 126 per cent spike in the identical interval, mentioned the Singapore Police Drive (SPF) on Sunday (Jan 31).
Not less than S$69.5 million was misplaced in 1,102 funding rip-off instances in addition to S$15.4 million in 299 faux playing platform rip-off instances, mentioned the police in a information launch.
The SPF’s Anti-Rip-off Centre and several other banks intervened in additional than 200 instances of such scams between Wednesday and Friday.
“Through the three-day enforcement operation, officers from the Industrial Affairs Division, Prison Investigation Division, the seven police land divisions and the banks performed stay intervention by analysing fund circulation of rip-off victims,” mentioned the police.
Officers then engaged these victims, many of whom had been unaware that that they had been scammed. They had been suggested to cease any additional cash transfers.
A complete of 98 individuals are presently helping with investigations for his or her suspected involvement in 359 funding scams and pretend playing platform scams.
The suspects, aged 17 to 59, are believed to have facilitated syndicates by opening financial institution accounts or transferring cash for syndicates, mentioned the police.
HOW THE SCAMS ARE CARRIED OUT
Conmen in funding scams will declare to be monetary professionals and “domesticate” victims on on-line relationship platforms, earlier than introducing these victims to funding web sites or cell apps, mentioned the police.
They may ask victims to speculate and switch cash to banks “predominantly in Hong Kong and China”, in addition to to pay administrative charges, safety charges or taxes so as to reap earnings.
In lots of situations, victims will earn an preliminary revenue from the funding, main them to consider that the funding is “respectable and profitable”, mentioned the police.
As soon as bigger quantities of cash are deposited into the scammers’ accounts, they’ll change into uncontactable.
“In faux playing platform scams, victims usually befriend scammers by way of on-line relationship platforms earlier than they’re launched to on-line betting functions or web sites,” mentioned the police.
In some situations, the scammers will persuade victims that these on-line betting platforms have loopholes which permit these putting bets to reap straightforward earnings.
To position bets, victims are required to open a betting account with the platform and deposit cash in a checking account, in alternate for betting credit and to money out their winnings.
The victims will then be told that their betting accounts have been frozen and that they might must deposit more cash to money out their winnings.
After more cash has been transferred, the scammers will change into uncontactable and the web sites inaccessible.
READ: 251 people under investigation for suspected involvement in scams, including 74-year-old – SPF
If discovered responsible of dishonest and dishonestly inducing a supply of property, the suspects could also be jailed for as much as 10 years and fined.
These responsible of cash laundering could also be jailed for as much as 10 years and fined as much as S$500,000.
Police mentioned additional investigations revealed that victims of pretend playing platform scams, who’ve opened betting accounts and positioned bets on on-line betting functions or web sites, are responsible for offences below the Distant Playing Act.
If convicted, they could be fined as much as S$5,000, jailed for as much as six months or each.
The general public are suggested by the police to be cautious when befriending strangers on any social media or relationship platforms.
They need to additionally “perceive that investments with excessive returns include excessive dangers” and “all the time test with a licensed monetary advisor earlier than making any funding”.
The general public also needs to test if the funding entity is blacklisted by the Financial Authority of Singapore (MAS), or whether or not they’re licensed by MAS or its respective abroad authority.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it in all probability is. Victims could also be lured with the guarantees of straightforward winnings. Nonetheless, such platforms are sometimes programmed and rigged by the scammers,” mentioned the SPF.