Singapore Police Force

Serial Rental Scammer Arrested

Press release   •   Jun 02, 2011 15:28 +08

Police have arrested a 45-year-old man who is believed to be involved in at least 13 reports of rental scams reported at Block 1 Lorong Lew Lian, which saw at least 21 victims being cheated of their hard-earned money.

Since 31 March 201 , at least 13 cases of flat rental scams were reported at Blk 1 Lor Lew Lian. In all the cases, the victims responded to flat rental advertisements placed in the Chinese newspapers between 4 and 29 March 2011. The culprit would arrange for the victims to view the unit for rent, collect sums of money ranging from $500 to $4800 from them allegedly as deposits for the rental of the unit, and tell them that they could move into the unit in April 2011. After collecting the money, the culprit would become un-contactable.

Upon receiving the reports, officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division conducted extensive follow-up investigations and enquiries. The investigation was made more challenging by the fact that the suspect did not have a fixed place of abode or work and was constantly on the move. However, the officers persevered undaunted and their efforts paid off when they arrested the suspect on 31 May 2011 at about 7.15pm at Harbourfront.

The suspect will be charged in Court on 2 June 2011 for the offence of Cheating which carries a punishment of imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years and a fine.

Commander of Ang Mo Kio Police Division, Assistant Commissioner of Police Hsu Sin Yun, commended his officers for their perseverance and teamwork leading to the arrest of the suspect.

Police advise members of the public to adopt the following crime prevention measures when seeking a unit for rent:

a) Visit the flat you wish to rent and ensure that the person you are dealing with is the rightful flat owner. Request documentary proof of flat ownership that bears the flat owner’s name.

b) Insist that the owner registers the subletting with HDB within 7 days from the subletting date.

c) Seek service from a licensed estate agent or registered salesperson (also known as property agent).