Rise in scams contributed to mid-year 2018 overall crime increase. Outage modesty remains a key concern.
Rise in scams contributed to mid-year 2018 overall crime increase. Twitter/ SPF

Singapore Police Force has said that from January to June 2018 the crimes related to e-commerce scams, loan scams and "China officials" impersonation scams have increased by 72.8% to 1,823 cases, from 1,055 cases in the same period last year.

In a recently published news release police stated that since the use of smartphones is higher, more Singaporeans are going online and "this has likely contributed to the increase in online commercial crime cases."

Police also clarified that most of the online crimes are committed remotely by foreign syndicates that are hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet. But they said that it is the duty of the officials to educate the citizens to minimise the chances of them to become victims of such commercial crimes.

In addition, they said that after providing joint efforts by the police and National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) internet love scams decreased for the first time in five years as well as a decrease in credit-for-sex scams.

However, police said despite providing crime prevention education efforts, people continue to fall in e-commerce scams, loan scams and "China officials" impersonation scams.

E-commerce scams

a) There was a 58% increase to 1,277 cases in the first half of 2018, from 808 cases in the same period last year.

b) The total amount cheated increased by 43.1% to about $930,000 in the first half of 2018, from about $650,000 in the same period last year.

c) The largest amount cheated in a single case in the first half of 2018 was about $50,000.

d) 80% of the e-commerce scams took place on Carousell, with common transactions involving electronic items, and tickets to events and attractions, in particular, tickets to the Universal Studios Singapore.

Loan scams

a) There was a 92.6% increase to 364 in the first half of 2018, from 189 in the same period last year.

b) The total amount cheated increased by 192% to about $730,000 in the first half of 2018, from about $250,000 in the same period last year.

c) The largest amount cheated in a single case in the first half of 2018 was about $90,000.

"China officials" impersonation scams

a) There was a 213.8% increase to 182 cases in the first half of 2018, from 58 cases in the same period last year.

b) The total amount cheated increased by 233.3%, to about $6 million in the first half of 2018, from about $1.8 million in the same period last year.

c) The largest amount cheated in a single case in the first half of 2018 was about $650,000.

d) In June 2018, the Police arrested two men for their suspected involvement in a series of "China officials" impersonation scams and seized cash amounting to about $590,000. This was the largest amount seized by the CAD in relation to such scams in 2018.

NCPC Chairman, Gerald Singham said if anyone needs any advice related to the scams they can visit the website Scamalert.sg or can call on the helpline number 1800-722-6688.