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top scams in singapore

Scams Alert: Top Scams in Q1 2020. Types of Scams and How Scammers Scam Their Victims

profileMing Feng

$41.3 Million Lost to Scammers Over Three Months

That is a hell lot of money!

Source: giphy

We are looking at Singaporeans losing an average of $13.8 million to scams every month.

That is about $460,000 per day!


Top Scams Committed in Singapore

Type of ScamNumber of CasesHow Much was Lost?
E-Commerce Scam1,159at least $1.3 million
Social Media Impersonation Scam466at least $1 million
Loan Scam421at least $1.6 million
Bank Phishing Scam374at least $1.6 million
Internet Love Scam175about $6.6 million

We are working with the Singapore Police Force, to help spread awareness on scams in Singapore. The article is not sponsored, and we believe strongly in a world without scams!

Here more insights to these scams so that you can warn your loved ones about it!


Sounds Like Easy Money!

Of course, if easy money entices you and you wish to pursue your career as a scammer, here are some career advice.

The offence of cheating is punishable with

  • Imprisonment term of up to 10 years
  • A fine

If you commit the offence of money laundering under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, the punishment will be:

  • Imprisonment term of up to 10 years
  • A fine of up to $500,000

E-commerce Scams

In case you are wondering, there is an increase in scam cases for e-commerce on digital platforms such as

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Shopee
  • Lazada

Some of these cases rode on the need of COVID-19 related products such as face masks and game consoles.

Turns out cases of Carouhell are dropping. There is actually less e-commerce scam cases on Carousell.

Source: Unscrambled.sg

If you are looking at a transaction that is too good to be true, it probably is!

At times, it is worth paying a little more from reputable retailers.

The last thing you want is to suffer a monetary loss and miss out on the fun of Animal Crossing.


Social Media Impersonation Scams

I remember receiving a Facebook request from my mother not so long ago. She asked me for my mobile number and my particulars.

Thing is, my mother passed on quite a while back…

 

Source: makeameme

You have probably experienced someone impersonating your friends or family on social media, trying to get some private information out of you.

Here are the common details that the scammers will ask for:

  • Mobile number
  • Internet banking account details
  • One-Time Password (OTP)

These scams are usually on the pretext of a fake contest or promotions organised by Lazada, Shopee and Qoo10. The victims will later notice fraudulent transactions being made on their bank account.


Loan Scams

By targetting bank customers, loan scammers usually call their victims to advertise a loan.

They pretend to be working with POSB, DBS, UOB, CIMB or OCBC, targetting Singaporeans in need of a loan.

Do take note that banks and licensed moneylenders are not allowed to send out loan advertisements. If you are receiving one that seems legit right now, it is not!

Source: giphy

Bank Phishing Scams

We published about phishing call scams targeting at DBS and POSB customers.

The victims receive a call from scammers posing as bank staff. Of which, victims were asked for their Internet banking usernames, Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) and OTPs.

Scammers then make their way into the victim’s bank account and transfer money out from there.

Another form of such scams occur when victims were asked to provide their personal details on a phishing URL that was sent by SMS.

Whatever the case is, banks will never ask you for your ibanking details or OTP, and you should never disclose it to anyone.


Internet Love Scams

Well, a lonely Valentine’s Day should not be as bad as losing $450,000 (the largest sum cheated from love scam in a single case).

Victims typically meet scammers online and developed a relationship with them.

The scammers will then claim to have sent parcels to the victim from overseas. Scammers then lied about the parcel being detained for inspection and require a transfer or remit of money to resolve the issue.

In the act of love, the victim complied.

There are also instances of scammers using medical or personal reasons to request victims to transfer money over to them.


Simple Rule of Thumb

To prevent any monetary losses through scams, here are some simple rules:

  • Do not divulge any personal information such as ibanking login credentials to others
  • Transact on platforms with consumer protection policies
  • If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is

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About Ming Feng
A stint in Bloomberg gifted me with a beer belly, which only grew larger when I moved on to become a Professional Trader. Now I turn caffeine into digestible finance-related content.
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