SINGAPORE: Singapore and Malaysian police have arrested four people and crippled a transnational love scam syndicate believed to be have cheated victims out of more than S$400,000.
The syndicate, based in Kuala Lumpur, is believed to be responsible for at least eight Internet love scams reported in Malaysia and Singapore, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a news release on Sunday (May 24).
The joint operation was conducted by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of the SPF and the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) of the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP).
With information provided by Singapore, Malaysian officers raided an apartment in Kuala Lumpur on May 19, SPF said.
A 30-year-old Malaysian woman and three Nigerian men aged between 30 and 35 were arrested.
Several telecommunication devices and a laptop were also seized during the operation.
"Not withstanding the global lockdown in trade and human traffic, criminals use the Internet to target victims across international boundaries," said CAD director David Chew.
"While we will continue this fight, members of the public can take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones from falling prey to scammers operating on social media," he said.
This includes being extra cautious when befriending strangers online, as they may not be who they portray themselves to be on their social media pages, said Mr Chew.
People should also be wary if anybody they befriended online asks for money or if foreign officials call and ask for money to release parcels sent by them.
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For more information on scams, members of the public can also visit http://scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688.
Anyone with information on scams may also call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit information via the police iwitness website at http://www.police.gov.sg/iwitness