SINGAPORE — The total amount lost to the top 10 scam types in Singapore surged 60 per cent to $227.8 million in the first half of 2022, from $142.5 million in the same period last year, according to statistics by the Singapore Police Force.
Job scams, phishing scams, e-commerce scams and investment scams comprised 74.5 per cent of the top 10 scam types reported in the first half of 2022, the mid-year crime statistics released on Monday (29 August) show. Overall, the number of cases from the top 10 scam types almost doubled to 13,181 from 6.797 over the comparative period.
Of the scam types, job scams recorded the highest number of reported cases, with 3,573 cases reported in the first half of this year and amount cheated totalling $58.5 million.
In most job scams, victims would respond to online advertisements or get unsolicited messages over chat applications such as Telegram and WhatsApp offering part-time jobs with high salaries that can be performed from home. In other variants, victims would be asked by the scammers to complete tasks online, such as liking social media posts, or reviewing hotels and restaurants for a commission.
On Tuesday, the police separately announced that at least 43 people have fallen prey to a job scam since April, with losses of $781,000 over the period. Victims would be contacted via online messaging applications such as WhatsApp and be told by scammers that they could earn commission by rating applications.
Biggest loss via investment scams
The scam type that involved the greatest losses in the first half of the year was investment scams. There were 1,683 investment scams reported in the first half of this year, with total amount cheated at $108.8 million.
In most of the investment scams, the scammers would claim to be financial professionals and lure victims online. The victims would be asked to visit investment websites or use mobile applications where they would transfer money to unknown bank accounts.
The other top 10 scam types during the period were linked to social media impersonation, fake friend calls, loans, internet love, credit-for-sex, and fake gambling platforms.
Meanwhile, the total number of physical crimes in the first half of the year rose to 9,825 cases, from 9,748 cases previously. The number of cases in this category was lower than the pre-COVID-19 figure of 13,015 in the same period in 2019.
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