MHA Details 3 Steps You Can Take To Prevent Scams

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Singaporeans must take active steps in the fight against scams because anyone can fall prey to them and the consequences can be dire, Minister of State for Home Affairs Sun Xueling said on Wednesday.

The refreshed tagline comes after a total of $346.5 million was lost to scams in the first half of 2022. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Singaporeans must take active steps in the fight against scams because anyone can fall prey to them and the consequences can be dire, Minister of State for Home Affairs Sun Xueling said on Wednesday.

She said: “Scams present a significant challenge to all law and enforcement agencies across the world.

“What this means is that we cannot rely on enforcement alone. The best defence against scams is becoming an aware, watchful and discerning public, who will protect ourselves and also act to protect others against scams.”

Because of the growing threat of scams, the latest initiative is needed to galvanise the public into action, said Ms Sun.

She added: “Based on the National Prevalence Survey of Scams in 2020, we realised that while most people know about scams, they may not be aware of the specific measures that they can take to protect themselves from scams.

“We want to bridge this awareness-action gap, by promoting the ACT framework of Add, Check and Tell.”

About 1,000 people from the community, industry players and government agency partners participated in the event.

Impact of scams in 2022

There were 14,349 scam cases reported in the first half of 2022, with a total of $346.5 million lost, of which $227.8 million was lost to the top 10 types of scams.

Both the number of cases and total amount lost were more than half of the 23,931 cases reported and $633.3 million lost in the whole of 2021.

The top 10 scams for the first half of 2022 were:

  • Job
  • Phishing
  • E-commerce
  • Investment
  • Social media impersonation
  • Fake friend call
  • Loan
  • Internet love
  • Credit for sex
  • Fake gambling platforms

3-Step ACT against scams

ACT outlines three actions individuals should take to safeguard themselves and the community against scams.

  • Add security features such as ScamShield and two-factor authentication for personal accounts. Also, set up transaction limits for Internet banking, to limit the amount of funds possibly lost in the event of a scam.
  • Check for potential signs of a scam by asking questions, fact-checking requests for personal information and money transfers, and verifying the legitimacy of online listings and reviews. Take the time to pause and check. If it is too good to be true, it is probably untrue, and a scam.
  • Tell the authorities and others about scam encounters by reporting to the bank, ScamShield, or by filing a police report. Tell others about ongoing scams and preventive steps they can take.

Helplines

If you ever require any help, please contact the respective hotlines for assistance:

  • Anti-Scam Hotline 1800-722-6688
  • Institute of Mental Health’s Mental Health Helpline 6389-2222
  • Samaritans of Singapore 1-767
  • Singapore Association for Mental Health 1800-283-7019
  • Silver Ribbon Singapore 6386-1928
  • Tinkle Friend (7-12 years) 1800-2744-788
  • TOUCHline (Counselling) 1800-377-2252
  • Care Corner Counselling Centre (Mandarin) 1800-353-5800

Read more on The Straits Times


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