The Police have arrested a 39-year-old man for a series of cheating cases involving house rental scams.

From 29 October 2016 to 14 January 2017, the Police received multiple reports from victims who had responded to advertisement placed online for rental of a unit at Rivervale Crescent. The suspect requested the victims to transfer amounts ranging from $300 to $1068 via internet banking. The suspect could not be contacted thereafter.

Through extensive ground enquiries and follow-up investigations, officers from the Ang Mo Kio Division established the identity of the suspect. He was subsequently arrested on 1 February 2017.

The man will be charged in Court on 3 February 2017 with an offence of Cheating which is punishable with an imprisonment term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to fine.

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

Visit the property to verify that it exists.

Ensure that the person you deal with is the rightful owner of the unit, or confirm that they are an accredited real estate agent. Request documentary proof of flat ownership that bears the flat owner's name.

Search for identical ads placed elsewhere; you could find out that the listing is a well-known scam.

Do not pay rental deposits or rent to the salesperson; payments should be made directly to the owner of the property and only after all parties have signed the tenancy agreement.