The internet has become an open space for anything that serves anyone who has use for it: from promotional content, business transactions to even relationships scams.
That being said, the Singapore Police has been on the lookout for emerging trends and scams that could pose a threat not only to one’s personal safety but also to the public, if incidences see a marked increase over time.
Police Urges Citizens to be Vigilant Against Internet Love Scams Involving Fake Packages
In a report shared by the Singapore Police last Friday (March 1), more than half of the Internet love scam cases last year involved scammers claiming to have sent parcels containing luxury items or large amounts of cash to victims, as shared in a report by the Straits Times.
As per the report, at least SGD 27.5 million was lost through Internet love scams which took place in 2018. Furthermore, at least 59% of the 660 cases reported last year involved parcel scams.
The police revealed that scammer’s accomplices would contact the victims and claim that the parcels have been blocked by authorities for inspection.
The scammers posed as employees of a courier company or from government organizations.
The victims, who typically became friends or had developed relationships with the scammers were informed that they are required to transfer or remit money to local or foreign bank accounts in order for their parcels to be released.
In order to make this convincing, the scammers threw in fictitious reasons such as taxes, fines, or anti-money laundering charges.
Moreover, the victims were also threatened with the possibility of prosecution if they failed to send the money, as these were all part of the scammer’s fraudulent claims.
As this type of scam has gained traction from last year, the police warned the public to be careful when entertaining strangers online.
Also, it’s important not to easily be persuaded when asked to send money to strangers or to people whom they’ve only just met, especially online.
Those with information on these types of scams may contact the police hotline (1800-255-0000) or report information online via www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.