Police arrest man believed to be rental scammer

Police arrest man believed to be rental scammer

SINGAPORE - Police have arrested a 49-year-old man who is believed to be involved in at least 20 cases of rental scams.

Police said in a press statement that two similar cases of flat rental scams were reported on Feb 14. The victims had responded to advertisement placed online for rental of a unit in Boon Lay Drive and Ghim Moh Road.

According to the report, the suspect would arrange with the victims to view the units, collect advance payment and flat rental deposit ranging from $2,400 to $2,840. After collecting the rental fees, he could not be contacted.

The suspect was subsequently arrested at Jalan Besar on Feb 17 at 1.25am. Police also seized receipt books and files containing stacks of tenancy agreement.

Preliminary investigation indicated that the suspect is believed to be involved in more than 20 counts of rental scams using flats at Mei Ling Street, Ghim Moh Road and Boon Lay Drive.

The suspect will be charged for cheating and may be imprisoned up to 10 years on top of a paying a fine.

To avoid falling prey to scams, police advise the public to visit the flat they wish to rent to ensure the contact person is the rightful owner.

Tenants should also request documentary proof of flat ownership that bears the flat owner's name and ensure that the owner registers the subletting of the flat with HDB within seven days from the subletting date.

debwong@sph.com.sg

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