The Police have arrested a 51-year-old man for his suspected involvement in a series of home rental scam.
Between 5 and 15 October 2019, the Police received eight reports of home rental scams involving more than $5,000 lost by the victims. The victims had responded to online advertisements for rental of a residential unit at Tampines, put up by the man. He was a tenant of the said unit but deceived the victims that he was the owner. Upon the victims' decision to rent the unit, the man demanded advance rental payments from them.
Through investigations, officers from Bedok Police Division established the identity of the suspect and arrested him on 15 October 2019. Preliminary investigations revealed that there are at least eight victims cheated.
The man will be charged in court on 17 October 2019 with cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224 that carries an imprisonment for a term up to 10 years and a fine.
Members of public are reminded to be wary of such scams and to adopt the following crime prevention measures:
Ask to visit the property to verify that it exists.
Ensure the person you deal with is the rightful owner of the unit or an accredited real estate agent.
Search for identical advertisements placed elsewhere. This may help you discover if the listing is a well-known scam.
Do not pay rental deposits or rent to the salesperson. Payments should be made directly to the property owner and only after all parties have signed the tenancy agreement.
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688. Anyone with information on such scams may call the Police hotline at 1800-255 0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.
Source: Singapore Police Force