Top Scams in Singapore and how to beat them - - Singapore Wacky Digital Underground Outpost

Top Scams in Singapore and how to beat them

Have you ever been scam?
It always pays to be vigilant. Low crime in Singapore does not mean no crime. Scams in Singapore is prevalent and had been ongoing for decades. There are many ways scammers would try to trick you into giving you away from your money, personal details or data. With misleading information and sometimes hard to resist offers, one may get scam if you are not careful.

Top scams in Singapore
These are the top scams in Singapore

E-Commerce Scams
1966 cases
Amount Lost $1,617,018*

E-Commerce Scams or online scams are prevalent in Singapore. With online selling platform,  it can potentially be a breeding place for online scams. This is the number one scam in town.

How it works
Seen a good deal for the gadget, amusement park or concert tickets sold online?
Beware of those that seek payments for prompt delivery. Sometimes the seller might even add on custom duties or delivery charges after the first payment. The worse case, no items delivered.

Red Flag

  • Unbelievable price
  • Little or no ratings on sellers

How to beat them

  • Do not deal with advance payments with individuals, especially traders
  • If the advance purchase is needed, deal only with platforms that allow a refund on non-delivery
  • Do not provide bank account numbers or personal information to strangers
  • Best to meet in person to deal when possible

Loan Scam
1174 Cases
Amount Lost $4,830,718*

Have you been receiving SMS or WhatsApp messages offering loans?
Beware of them1

How it works
Scammers would claim to be from a licensed moneylender. Interested parties are instructed to transfer money as a deposit before the loan can be disbursed, After the transfer, the scammers will no longer be contactable.

Red Flag

  • Advertisement on messaging platforms. It is illegal for licensed moneylenders to advertise via SMS or Whatsapp
  • Asking for information like NRIC, Singpass, bank account numbers. Such information can be used against the victim either by threats or even attempting to log into the victims' accounts

How to beat them

  • Ignore the messages, block the senders and delete them
  • Only use licensed moneylenders if you need to borrow money

Credit for Sex Scams
456 cases
Amount Lost $1,100,000*

Getting friends request from an unknown person. Do not accept them!

How it works
Scammers would send friend requests fon Facebook, WeChat and iRound. Usually, such messages include escort services, massage or sexual services.

Red Flag

  • Professing strong feelings for you quickly after befriending you and want a private chat with you
  • Poorly worded messages 
  • Request for favour or money

How to beat them

  • Ignore such messages
  • Do an image search to verify identity
  • DO not give personal details to strangers
  • Do not provide payment receipts with PINS or Credit card numbers 

Internet Love Scams
454 cases
Amount Lost $24,017,933*

A request from an attractive person to befriend you?
Be wary. Scammers might deceive you with sob stories to win your trust and love. Then they will ask you as money as proof o love. Once the money is transferred, they disappear.

Red Flag

  • Strangers befriend online.
  • Might have a poor grammar that does not fit their profile.
  • SHower you with loving words and profess strong feelings for you even before you meet them

How to beat them

  • Do not respond to a request for money, even if they sound desperate or needy
  • Do not send money to strangers
  • Do not reveal too much about yourself, especially photos or videos that can be used for blackmail
  • Speak to someone to assess the situation

Investment  Scams
368 Cases
Amount Lost $37,534,103*

Receive messages or calls from people claiming to be stockbrokers or bank or financial company on Facebook, WeChat or Line?

Beware of such calls as they might be investment scams. Scammers will ask for personal details like NRIC , passport numbers for investment form. They might also ask victims to transfer money to banks in HK or China, pay administrative fees, security fees and taxes.

Red Flag

  • Offers on online trading, in particular, binary options. Binary options are attractive as they provide quick returns. Many platforms that offer this are fraudulent.
  • Offers of investment returns that are unusually high
  • Base outside Singapore
How to beat them
  • Be cautious when befriending strangers on social media 
  • Understand that investments risk with high returns usually are high risk
  • Check if the entity is blacklisted
  • Do not deal with unregulated entities or entities base outside Singapore

Impersonation scams
122 Cases
Amount Lost $7,100,000*

'This is the police, this is DHL delivery, this is the immigration officer.'
If you receive such calls, be extra alert. The caller may claim they are from bank or courier company and claim your identity was used to send parcels containing fake passports or weapons. They will refer you to a Chinese officer and will ask or threaten you to provide information such as a passport or bank account number with OTP,

Red Flags
  • Unsolicited calls, especially call from robocalls
  • Calls are made in Chinese

How to beat them
  • Hang up
  • Do not give bank details, credit card numbers or OTP codes

As you could see, scams are aplenty. There are more variety of scams and you can find them on The website also has victims sharing their experiences and it is a great source for information on scam in Singapore.

The best way to avoid these scams is to ignore them. There are no free lunch in the world, so do not be enticed by get-rich schemes, quick loves or freebies. Should you encounter any of these scams, do contact the police or call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688

Always err on the safe side than be sorry.

* As of Jan-Aug 2019

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