The number of scams in the stunning island country of Singapore has increased over the years, reaching a record-high of over fifteen thousand seven hundred in 2020 – a shocking increase of over sixty-five per cent from the previous year.
So, whether it is impersonation, bank fraud, phishing emails, or loan scams Singapore has its fair share of all types. That’s why Singaporeans must be aware of the most typical scams rampant in all parts of the country. It will help prevent them from falling into debt and other losses.
Listed below is a comprehensive description of some widespread scams that illicit scammers use to trap innocent people.
Social media scams
Social media scams in Singapore are almost an everyday occurrence now, with scammers targeting scores of Singaporeans through popular online portals. Typically, they claim to be official authorities and ask for personal details that include bank information, passwords, national identification number, one-time passwords, and more. All this is most commonly done on the pretext of lottery, lucky-draw, and other such scams.
People who fall prey to such scams end up losing their savings, having to contact Singapore police for assistance to get it back. These cases are settled either through criminal or civil recourse in the country.
When it comes to loan scams, Singapore is notoriously home to thousands of illegal money lenders. It is not legal for unlicensed individuals and institutes to offer loans to borrowers at exorbitant interest rates. However, loan sharks in Singapore do just that by trapping unsuspecting residents in dire need of financial assistance.
Police authorities have found a new variant in methodology whereby illicit financiers contact victims with fake letters, SMS, emails, and social media messages. They claim to be from an official bank or government body, asking for a loan processing fee. They may also ask for a transfer fee, property as collateral, and other vague charges.
This is an instant indicator of a scam, as legitimate lenders in Singapore will never ask for an administration fee or collateral beforehand. Instead, they legally charge a reasonable percentage of the loan amount once the process is complete.
Impersonating police, doctors, and other authorities are among Singapore’s most typical and leading scams. However, the impersonation scam has many variations, with perpetrators impersonating different individuals for different reasons. For instance, many scammers call Singaporeans and claim to be bank staff, following which, they ask for their personal account information for official purposes.
In other instances, scammers in Singapore use automated calls to trick residents into believing that their internet connection is not working. Consequently, someone posing as an official from your internet service provider will call and ask for details of your connection. Gradually, the caller will ask about the number of people at home, bank details, national identification number, and more.
Singaporeans must remember to never give any personal information over the telephone, email, SMS, or any chat application before verifying the person’s identity on the other end. In the unfortunate case that you are entangled in a scam, contact the local authorities immediately. Alternatively, you can use the “anti-scam hotline” started by the Singaporean police to protect the public from scams.