Online cheat concealed IP address to scam victims

A 29-year-old computer technician who cheated 19 victims of $12,500 in an online scam used masking software to hide his tracks.

The Straits Times reported today that Robin Goh Chin Soo used advanced software to hide his Internet Protocol (IP) address and give the impression that he was in Germany.

He also operated the scam through his neighbour's wireless router without the neighbour's knowledge to make it more difficult for police to track him down.

After he was arrested, he jumped bail in August 2007 and fled to Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan.

He finally surrendered himself in August this year after growing tired of travelling.

Goh pled guilty on Tuesday to cheating, illegal access to the Internet and concealing his criminal proceeds.

He will be sentenced on Jan 17.

According to the English daily, Goh posted announcements on motoring websites claiming that he was in Germany in early October 2006 and that he could get bulk discounts for car parts and accessories.

He invited forum users to place orders with him after quoting prices which were 25 per cent lower than retail prices in Singapore.

Victims reported the scam to the police between Oct and Nov 2006.

Investigators tracked him down after narrowing their search down to his neighbour's wireless router.

They also found that he had opened accounts under fictitious names with gold traders to hide the payments from his victims before moving the funds to his personal account.

paullim@sph.com.sg