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50-year-old victim loses $20,000 in scam involving extortion letters with fake obscene photos

Seven men and five women, aged between 18 and 46, are being investigated for their alleged involvement in providing bank accounts and SIM cards used to commit a series of extortions. Police said in a statement that between March and April of this year they received more than 170 reports from victims who had received extortionist letters in the mail containing doctored photographs. Publicly obtained images of the victims’ faces would be superimposed on obscene photographs of a man and woman allegedly in an intimate and compromising position. The letters warned of threatening consequences unless recipients contacted the email address provided in the letters. In one of the reports, a 50-year-old victim lost $20,000 after replying to the email address and transferring the money to a bank account supposedly provided by the other party. In a two-week operation by officers of the Central Police Division, the 12 people were found to be allegedly involved in obtaining bank accounts for criminal activities or facilitating or assisting in unauthorized access to Singpass accounts, or They bought and delivered local SIM cards. cards that were obtained through illegal means, all of which had allegedly facilitated the criminal activities of offshore scam syndicates. Preliminary investigations revealed that the 12 people had allegedly received or been promised assignments. During the operation, police recovered at least $115,000 in suspected criminal proceeds, some of which were allegedly linked to other scam cases, and a number of electronic devices were seized. A 23-year-old woman will be charged in court on May 2 with the crime of facilitating unauthorized access to computer material. If she is convicted, she faces up to two years in prison, a fine, or both. Police said they take those who may be directly or indirectly involved in scams and fraud very seriously. “Those involved in such illegal activities, or enabling such illegal activities by obtaining and renouncing bank accounts, Singpass accounts or SIM cards, will be dealt with sternly in accordance with the law,” police said. “To avoid being complicit in these crimes, the public should refrain from purchasing and giving up pre-registered prepaid/postpaid SIM cards and always reject seemingly attractive money-making opportunities that promise quick and easy payments for the use of their Singpass accounts, bank accounts. , or allow your personal bank accounts to be used to receive and transfer/remit money.” For more information on scams, visit scamalert.sg or call the scam helpline at 1800-722-6688. Anyone with information about such scams can call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.