55-year-old man arrested after allegedly cheating six of about $200k in online investment scams

SINGAPORE – A 55-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly convincing a woman to transfer more than $74,000 in a scam involving an online investment platform.

He allegedly scammed at least six victims, including the woman, of more than $197,000 through such schemes.

The police said in a statement on Wednesday (Sept 16) that it had received a report from a woman on Aug 14. She was introduced to the online investment platform by a man she befriended online.

The man then instructed her to transfer more than $74,000 to a specified bank account on Aug 5 and 6.

After the transfers were made, the woman discovered her account was blocked and she was unable to access the online investment platform or recover the funds she had transferred.

Officers from Bedok Police Division established the identity of the 55-year-old man and arrested him on Monday.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the man is the owner of the specified bank account.

Under Section 420 of the Penal Code, a person convicted of cheating can be jailed up to 10 years and fined.

Under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, a person convicted of money laundering can be jailed up to 10 years or fined up to $500,000, or both.

In a separate case, the police said on Wednesday that they had arrested a 25-year-old woman for her alleged involvement in a series of e-commerce scams.

The police received a report on Aug 1 from a victim who was purportedly cheated by a seller who had advertised a portable air-conditioning unit on Carousell, an online marketplace platform.

The seller became uncontactable after the victim transferred $210 as payment.

Officers from Bedok Police Division arrested the woman on Wednesday.

Preliminary investigation found that the woman was allegedly involved in at least four other cases of e-commerce scams, said the police.

The police advised members of the public not to be impulsive when making online purchases, and avoid making payments or deposits in advance but instead use shopping platforms or arrangements that release the payment to the seller only upon receipt of the item.

Alternatively, arrange to meet the seller and pay only on delivery.

For more information on scams, members of the public can visit scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline on 1800-722-6688.

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