Singapore is seeing an increase in online scams over the last couple of years, with the numbers of victims not showing any signs of stopping. These scams vary, but are mostly concerned with internet love sites, e-commerce, impersonating officials, and of course online investments. The current year’s reports show that a total of 3591 cases were reported, amounting to a total loss of SGD83 million. The most significant of these cases was a SGD4.3 million scam involving an investment scheme.
The authorities have done their best to cut down on these numbers, by utilizing a number of tactics, from public warnings, awareness campaigns, to establishing an Anti-Scam center. Yet is spite of these efforts, people are continuously being defrauded, and cases are popping up each day, with experts putting the blame on the innocence of people brought about by the community of Singapore’s general trust towards more authoritative figures and the fact that the city-state has a low crime rate.
As one psychiatrist, a Dr. Lim Boon Leng, puts it: “Singapore is a country with low crime, and often we let our guard down and we do not usually have a high level of suspicion. We are also more trusting of authority figures and do not question their identity,”
A big portion of these scams are forex related online scams, that see fraudulent brokerage firms luring unsuspected folk with little to no experience within the industry, and presenting them with opportunities that are in every way too good to be true.
The scam is mostly staged in the form of interpersonal telephone conversations between the victim and a very capable shady individual, a lot of which are actually coming from mainland China. And as we have seen Singaporeans are predisposed to trusting authoritative people, and so scammers adapt their techniques accordingly.