SINGAPORE - Two men and two women, aged between 18 and 34, have been arrested for suspected involvement as money mules in an ongoing mixed delivery order scam.
They were apprehended by officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division after a five-hour island-wide operation on Sep 23.
The suspects posted online advertisements for the sale of below market price smartphones, tablet PCs and laptops on popular websites.
According to the police, after receiving payments from their victims, they requested for additional payment by giving the following reasons:
1. Items were held or wrongly delivered to another country - an additional payment is required to retrieve the item(s).
2. Items were seized at the Customs - an additional payment is required for storage fees, and victims receive the purported "seizure notice" in the email for added credibility.
3. Items faced courier/shipment problems faced - there was a mix-up with other items from a different order. As the delivery could not be cancelled (one-way delivery), victims need to pay for the cost of additional items. Alternatively, victims are offered the option to return the additional items back to source, but need to pay an additional refundable guarantee fee.
4. Items included in the package required minimum quantity / package was too light - the despatch manager could not authorise shipment as it did not meet the Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ), thus requesting victim to put in more orders and make subsequent payments.
The suspects recruited 'money mules' on social network platforms for the scam to avoid detection. They had local bank accounts and helped to transfer the money to the suspects. These money mules would later receive a percentage commission from the funds remitted.