Man arrested for assisting in rental scam

SINGAPORE - A 31-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday for allowing his bank account to be used in a rental scam.

In a statement released on Friday, police said that they had in July and August this year received several reports lodged by victims who responded to online advertisements about room and unit rentals. They were told, via email and mobile text messages, to transfer funds to a bank account belonging to the suspect.

The victims proceeded to make the deposits. They realised that the rental deals were a sham when they failed to receive the tenancy agreements and keys as agreed with the two unknown subjects they had been corresponding with.

Investigations into the case are ongoing.

Anyone convicted of dishonestly disposing stolen property may be punished with a maximum jail term of five years, a fine or both. The accused may also be liable for offences under the Criminal Conduct under Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, which are punishable by a maximum jail term of seven years, a maximum fine of $500,000 or both.

The public is advised to be wary of rental scams and check the authenticity of the rental premises in question before making fund transfers.