A total of 55 people are under investigation for 150 cases of online scams involving more than S$230,000, the Singapore police said on Friday (Jul 29).
The 27 men and 28 women, aged between 17 and 72, were rounded up by the police in an islandwide operation conducted between Monday and Wednesday.
Most of the suspects are believed to have posed as online sellers and did not deliver the products to buyers after receiving payment, said police. The products include admission tickets to local attractions, vouchers, mobile phones and hotel room bookings.
Others are believed to be money mules who received and transferred illegal funds on behalf of criminal syndicates.
The suspects may be charged with cheating, which carries a punishment of up to 10 years in jail and a fine, or money laundering, which carries a punishment of up to 10 years' imprisonment and a fine of up to S$500,000.
The number of cheating cases involving e-commerce rose from 1,665 cases in 2014 to 2,173 cases last year, according to the police. Three out of four of e-commerce related police reports lodged last year were made by users of online community marketplaces.
"The police take a serious view against any person involved in scams, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Anyone found to be involved in such scams will be subject to police investigations," the police said, adding that they will work closely with banks and freeze any bank account found to be used to receive money from illegal sources.