More people in Singapore have fallen prey to molesters, especially in public transport and nightlife, but also scammers in the first half of this year, causing a peak in total crime.
Increasingly popular tricks include: false lending schedule & # 39; s fraudulent e-commerce sales and the & # 39; Chinese official & # 39; list, where scammers claim to be civil servants from China to demand money from victims.
A total of 16,460 offenses were reported in January and June this year, compared to 15,949 cases in the same period last year, according to biannual crime statistics released yesterday by the police.
This is the first time since 2015 that crimes have increased in the first half of the year.
The "Chinese official" impersonation of identity was responsible for a jump of more than 213 percent. In some cases, victims were informed that they were involved in cases of money laundering and asked for bank details to be provided by telephone for investigation. There were 182 such cases in the first half of this year, compared with 58 cases in the same period last year. Victims were deceived with a total of about $ 6 million, more than the threefold of the amount last year.
The increase in such cases is a cause for concern, especially for vulnerable groups such as the elderly or young people, said MEP Desmond Choo, who sits on the parliamentary committee for home affairs and the law of the government. "Many seniors could be affected, so I would encourage enforcement agencies to work with the grassroots to spread the message quickly," Choo said.
There were 1277 e-commerce cheating in the first half of this year, up from 808 cases in the same period last year, and victims were deceived by about $ 930,000.
About 80 percent took place on the popular online sales platform Carousell, the police said.
These cases are particularly challenging to solve, since the main perpetrators are foreign scam syndicates who can hide under the anonymity of the Internet, said assistant superintendent Stanley Qiu of the commercial crime division of the Bedok division.
The syndicates recruit locals for their local bank account details and then harm local buyers in buying an item from the platform before they disappear with the money transferred to them by their local helpers, ASP Qiu said. The fraud swind rose by 92.6 percent, from 189 to 364 cases, with the total amount being deceived by 192 percent to about $ 730,000.
The number of notifications reported increased by 21.5 percent to 832 cases, from 685.
The police said that such incidents at public places of entertainment and public transport are of particular importance. Molestation cases in nightclubs rose by 37 percent in the same period last year, while such cases rose by 43.8 percent in public transport.
"The police are closely monitoring the increase in outrage over modest issues, and we will continue to intensify our efforts to work closely with stakeholders and the community to prevent and discourage such cases, especially in public places of entertainment and public transport networks," said Senior Assistant Commissioner How Kwang Hwee, who is director of the operations department. "Offenders will be severely dealt with in accordance with the law."
Meanwhile, the number of cases of internet love fraud had dropped for the first time in five years. In the first half of the year, 280 cases were reported, less than 344 in the same period last year.
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