4 youths arrested for mobile phone scams

Four male youths, aged between 15 and 18, have been arrested by the police for a series of scams involving the use of victims' mobile phones to purchase game credits.

The culprits would use the victims' mobile phones to send SMSes to their friends or contact them using Facebook. Later, they would return the mobile phones to the unsuspecting victims.

The victims would only realise something was wrong after receiving their phone bills.

The accused persons are believed to have targeted taxi drivers in the majority of 10 cases which took place island-wide.

The game credits were either used by the suspects in online games or were resold to a third party for cash.

Investigations against the 4 subjects are on-going.

Previously, six youths were arrested for cheating victims into lending them their mobile phones by claiming that their own phones were either faulty or out of battery.

It is believed that these cases are unrelated to the earlier ones.

The cases have been classified as Cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, which is punishable with imprisonment for a term of up to 10 years and a fine.

Commander of Tanglin Police Division, Assistant Commissioner Koh Yak Leng commended his officers for their policing work.

The public is advised to adopt the following crime prevention measures:

- Never hand over your mobile phone to strangers or someone you just met, even if they offer to leave their valuables with you;
- If you decide to lend your mobile phone to someone who needs to make an emergency call, do not let it out of your sight; and
- If possible, you should assist the person to make the call to ensure that it is a genuine case of someone needing help.

Members of the public who suspect that they may be victims of such a scam can lodge a police report via the Electronic Police Centre (ePC) at: http://www.spf.gov.sg/epc/ or at any Neighbourhood Police Centre/ Police Post.

paullim@sph.com.sg

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