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5 people charged for relinquishing Singpass, bank accounts to scam syndicates

The money laundering activities are suspected to be linked to bank-related malware phishing scams.

Asian man looking at a credit card and using a security application on a smartphone and laptop, to illustrate a Singpass scam story.
Five people are suspected to have relinquished their Singpass details and bank accounts to scam syndicates. (PHOTO: Getty) (Chayaporn Yemjuntuek via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE – The Singapore police said that five people aged 16 to 28 will be charged in court on Wednesday (12 July) for their suspected involvement in money laundering activities linked to banking-related phishing scam cases involving malware.

These, the police said, resulted in losses from victims' bank and Central Provident Fund (CPF) accounts.

The four men, and a 20-year-old woman, was arrested after the police received several reports informing them that malware was used to compromise Android mobile devices. "Unauthorised transactions were made from the victims’ bank and CPF accounts even though they did not divulge their Internet banking credentials, One-Time-Passwords (OTPs) or Singpass credentials to anyone," the police said in a statement early Wednesday.


The police said that investigations revealed that the five persons were suspected to be involved in the following cases of money laundering:

  1. In early June 2023, a 20-year-old woman responded to an online advertisement which offered her fast cash, and she later agreed to disclose her Singpass credentials to an unknown person.

  2. A 28-year-old man agreed to disclose his Singpass credentials to an unlicensed moneylender to offset his loan repayments in May 2023. The Singpass credentials were subsequently misused to open bank accounts which were then used to launder criminal proceeds.

  3. Between late 2022 and early 2023, another 28-year-old man and a 16-year-old teenager sold their bank accounts for monetary gains. A 25-year-old man was believed to have facilitated the sale of the 28-year-old man's bank accounts. Their bank accounts were later used to launder proceeds of crime amounting to more than $520,000.

It was revealed that between January and June 2023, there were more than 700 reports of malware-related scams and losses amounting to about S$8 million. Nine of these malware-related scams involved CPF savings and bank accounts with losses amounting to at least S$335,000.

Reject money-making opportunities related to Singpass

The police added, "To avoid being an accomplice in these crimes, members of the public should always reject seemingly attractive money-making opportunities promising fast and easy pay-outs for the use of their Singpass accounts, bank accounts, or allow their personal bank accounts to be used to receive and transfer money for others."

For disclosing Singpass credentials, for first offenders, the offence under Section 8(2)(a) of the Computer Misuse Act 1993 carries an imprisonment term not exceeding three years or a fine not exceeding S$10,000 or both.

For conspiring to cheat the bank into opening a bank account, the offence under Section 417 read with Section 109 of the Penal Code 1871 carries an imprisonment term not exceeding three years, a fine or both.

For abetting unknown persons to secure unauthorised access to the bank’s computer system, for first-time offenders, the offence under Section 3(1) read with Section 12 and Section 14 of the Computer Misuse Act 1993 carries a fine not exceeding S$5,000, an imprisonment term not exceeding two years or both.

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