What is “Cheating”?

Within the Singaporean legal system “Cheating”, as stipulated by S415 of the Penal Code 1871, refers to the act of deceiving another person into delivering, or causing the delivery of property to another person, or to omit or do anything which the he or she would not do, but for the fact he or she had been deceived, where the omission or act carried out by the deceived is one likely to cause damage or harm. 

“Cheating by personation” and “Illegally obtaining personal information” are both different forms of cheating.

Cheating by personation:

Cheating by personation

Section 416 Penal Code:

A person is said to “cheat by personation”, if he cheats by pretending to be some other person, or by knowingly substituting one person for another, or representing that he or any other person is a person other than he or such other person really is.

Explanation. —The offence is committed whether the individual personated is a real or an imaginary person.


(A)  A cheats by pretending to be a certain rich banker of the same name. A cheats by personation.

(B)  A cheats by pretending to be B, a person who is deceased. A cheats by personation.

For example, in the case of PP v Fernando Payagala Waduge Malitha Kumar, the offender was charged for cheating by impersonation by using a credit card belonging to a foreign national that he found lying in a plane. He used the credit card to purchase a laptop, a wallet, a handphone, and was subsequently arrested upon his attempt to purchase a bracelet. He was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment.

Punishment for cheating by personation:

A person charged with cheating by personation will be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or both. 

Where you might require more advice and consultancy about your case and the legal procedures, it is ideal to consult a lawyer for guidance and representation. Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu of Amarjit Sidhu Law Corporation has represented numerous clients in a wide variety of matters over the years, from traffic offences, to high profile criminal cases- to family and divorce matters. With a vast knowledge of Singapore’s laws and wealth of experience, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu will be able to provide valuable and timely advice for your situation. For more information, feel free to contact us for a consultation.

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