REPORTS LODGED BY PERSONS WHOSE ADDRESSES HAVE BEEN USED IN PURCHASE OF GOODS SCAMS

Murali Pillai
2 min readFeb 7, 2024

I came across several incidents of individuals whose residential addresses have been used by scammers. In some of these cases, the Police did not originally decide to investigate the matter on the basis that the individuals did not really “lose” anything. I therefore questioned the Minister for Home Affairs about this matter. I asked how many such cases have been reported, how they are classified legally, and whether the police will investigate such cases. I am glad to note from the Minister’s answer that the Police will take resolute action in such circumstances. My parliamentary question and Minister Shanmugam’s response are set out below.

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Mr Murali Pillai asked the Minister for Home Affairs (a) in each of the past three years, how many reports have been lodged by persons whose addresses have been used by scammers for the purpose of inducing victims of scams to collect goods that they have been cheated into purchasing from the said addresses; (b) what is the offence classification of such cases and whether the Police investigates such cases; and © what measures can be taken to provide assistance to such persons.

Mr K Shanmugam: Typically, scam victims mention a falsely declared but genuine address when making a police report. The Police do not specifically track this particular modus operandi. The Police also do not track the number of reports lodged by homeowners whose addresses have been misused by scammers.

Regardless of who files the report, depending on the facts of the case, the scammers may be liable for a cheating offence under section 420 of the Penal Code.

Where a Police report has been made, the Police will investigate the case if there is reasonable suspicion that a criminal offence was committed. The Police will also work with the relevant online platforms to remove suspected scam content, as well as disable the e-commerce and social media accounts involved.

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Murali Pillai

Member of Parliament, Bukit Batok SMC, Advisor to Bukit Batok SMC GROs.