Woman, 24, jailed for providing unlicensed payment services using Bitcoin

Beware of scammers.

Jason Fan | January 30, 2021, 10:55 AM

A Singaporean woman has been convicted and sentenced to four weeks' imprisonment for providing payment services without a license, by receiving proceeds of crime from victims of online scams and purchasing Bitcoin with the monies.

According to a joint press release issued by the police and the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC), the 24-year-old is the first person to be convicted for such an offence.

The woman claimed this was her part-time job

Investigations by the Commercial Affairs Department revealed that on Feb. 27 and 28, 2020, the woman provided a digital payment token service by receiving at least 13 fraudulent fund transfers, amounting to S$3,350 in her bank account.

She then used the money to purchase Bitcoin, and transferred the Bitcoin to multiple Bitcoin wallets.

These transactions were done on the instruction of an unknown person, in return for a 10 per cent commission.

The woman claimed that this was a part-time job, which involved her receiving monies in her bank account, and depositing them into Bitcoin machines.

These monies turned out to be proceeds of crime from victims of online scams.

According to the joint press release, the woman does not have a license to carry on a business of providing an types of payment services in Singapore, and is not an exempt payment service provider under the Payment Service Act 2019.

She could have been punished with a fine of up to S$125,000, or imprisonment for a term of up to three years, or both.

Beware of scammers who ask you to receive and transfer money on their behalf

Members of the public are advised to exercise caution against scammers, who advertise jobs that allow individuals to work from home, and offer unreasonably high salaries to perform tasks like using their personal bank accounts to receive and transfer money.

"Legitimate companies will not require you to utilise your personal bank account to receive money on their behalf. If the money that you receive and transfer is stolen money or linked to crimes, you may be investigated and liable to be charged for committing a money laundering offence," said the joint press release.

Individuals are advised to reject such requests to use your personal bank account to receive and transfer money for others.

Top image via Unsplash.