SINGAPORE — More younger adults aged 20 to 39 have fallen prey to scams, with the age group making up over 53 per cent of the total scam victims.
This follows an increase in total amount cheated from scam victims in Singapore: $660.7 million in 2022, up 4.5 per cent from $632 million a year earlier.
According to data released by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) on Wednesday (8 February), scam and cybercrime cases have increased by more than a quarter to 33,669 in 2022, up from 26,886 in the year before.
Scams accounted for 94.2 per cent of these cases.
Younger adults likely to fall for job scams
Job scams are common among young adults, accounting for 66.8 per cent of all scam victims. Phishing and e-commerce scams round out this age group's top scam types.
It is estimated that about a quarter of young adults in the age groups of 20 to 29 and 30 to 39 have fallen victim to job scams, where high salaries are promised for remote work.
According to the police, victims would be asked to perform simple tasks such as making advance purchases and liking social media posts.
The most common platforms which these scammers used to contact victims included Telegram and WhatsApp, said the police.
"Scam communication would promise high salaries and remote work arrangements, and would often include different WhatsApp or Telegram numbers/website links as additional contact points for interested victims to sign up for "jobs" or for creating their "accounts'," the police said.
Commissions would initially be given to victims to entice them into providing more funds, supposedly so more commissions could be earned. Eventually, they would not be able to recover their money.
More victims fall prey to e-commerce scams
E-commerce scams also impacted young adults between 30 and 39 — with 18.3 per cent of the victims falling to this scam type.
A common e-commerce scam involves crooks posting products for sale online and the victims paying for undeliverable goods.
The amount lost in e-commerce scams more than tripled to at least $21.3 million, with 4,762 such scam cases last year.
The police added, "The most common platforms which victims encountered scammers included Carousell, Facebook, and Shopee, while the common items involved in the transactions were electronic goods, rental (residential unit) and gaming-related items."
Scams with the most number of reports
Phishing scams were the most common type last year, with 7,097 cases reported that year, a 41.3 per cent spike from the 5,023 cases in 2021.
This is where scammers would pretend to be officials or trusted sources, in order to dupe victims into revealing their details such as credit card and bank account information.
The other scam types with the most reports last year also included job, e-commerce, investment, and fake friend call scams.
According to The Straits Times, this is the first time the police released the statistics for a particular crime separate from the annual crime numbers, which will be issued on 16 February.
Brenda Ong, assistant director of the police's public communications division, told The Straits Times that in recent years, scams had overtaken many other types of physical crime to form a significant share of overall crimes.
She shared that a dedicated brief on scams allowed the Government to provide information, including the latest scam trends and vulnerable groups that are likely to be impacted.
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