SINGAPORE: The police on Thursday (Apr 8) warned that people could be unknowingly used as money mules in a new trend of scams advertising jobs with high hourly salaries.
The police described how scammers would send text messages displaying fake job postings that, in the example provided in Thursday's news release, offered "250 per hour".
“Members of the public are advised to be on their guard against such elaborate scams, as they could unknowingly be used as money mules to launder proceeds of criminal conduct,” police said in a news release.
They advised the public to adopt precautionary measures such as not clicking on suspicious URL links, not sending money to people they do not know or have not met in person before, and not sharing bank account login credentials with anyone.
Police also urged the public to decline job offers that require the use of their personal bank accounts to perform money transfer for others, purchase cryptocurrency on behalf of someone else or open new bank accounts.
“The police would like to remind the public that your bank account(s) will be ‘frozen’ if it is used to assist in laundering money from criminal activities, and you will be subjected to criminal investigations,” they said.
They also urged individuals not to withdraw or transfer any suspicious funds they may receive in their bank accounts and report the matter to the bank and the police.
Police also asked the public to report any information related to such crimes or if they suspect a message received is a scam.
Money mules may be charged with money laundering offences under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act. If convicted, they could be jailed up to 10 years, fined up to S$500,000, or both.
They could also be charged under the Payment Services Act, which carries a fine of up to S$125,000, a jail term of up to three years, or both.