Written Replies to Parliamentary Questions

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Enhancing the Punishment Against Criminals who Commit Cheating or Scam Offences Electronically or via Telephone, by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Published: 01 February 2021


Mr Lim Biow Chuan:
To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether the Government will consider enhancing the punishment against criminals who commit cheating or scam offences electronically or via telephone.


1. Depending on the facts of the case, scammers can be charged for one of the cheating-related offences under Sections 417 to 420 of the Penal Code, which carry maximum imprisonment terms of between 3 and 10 years. MHA’s assessment is that the penalties are adequate.

2. The main challenge in combating scams is that most of the scammers are based overseas. We have been actively collaborating with foreign law enforcement agencies.MHA has also stepped up efforts on scam prevention through education and public awareness. We have also enhanced collaboration with industry partners such as telcos, online marketplaces, banks and remittance companies, to detect and stop scams before they happen.


Managing Security Threats
Law and order