Since the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of things have gone digital: food orders, shopping and even financial transactions.
The Internet has brought us an unprecedented level of convenience but not without new dangers. Fraudsters are increasingly taking advantage of our online habits to run scams on unwitting victims, stripping them of millions of dollars in the process.
This is against a larger trend of reported scam crimes increasing in Singapore, surging 54% in 2019 over the previous year. Police statistics show that the top 10 scam types reported in 2019 accounted for a staggering $168 million in losses with e-commerce, business email impersonation (aka phishing), social media impersonation and tech support scams among the most lucrative for fraudsters.
The authorities, in response, have set up a new task force to deal with the issue. Established in mid-2019, the Police’s Anti-Scam Centre (ASC) focuses on disrupting scam operations and helping victims mitigate losses. One of the ASC’s strategies is to expedite a freeze of scam-related accounts within days, effectively cutting off scammers from robbing more.
While the authorities believe in prompt action, the single best way to avoid being scammed is to prevent any opportunity for scams in the first place. This is especially true when it comes to cyber attacks and online scams. Their prevention, basically, boils down to being extra cautious and to approach every transaction with a healthy dose of skepticism.
We try to detail out some common cyber attacks and online scams, and share tips on how to prevent falling victim to each.