5 scams in Singapore and Asia you should watch out for
Scammers around the world are becoming more sophisticated in the craft of stealing personal information for their personal gain. More often, the unsuspecting victims are those who think of themselves as insignificant to be included in the scheme. This complacency came with the price of stress and stolen money due simply because they entertained unknown contacts that came their way.
In Singapore and the rest of Asia, there are 5 scams that everyone should watch out for due to the number of victims that it has already scammed. These are recurring scams that are hard to irradicate as it thrives on the negligence of their victims, which is common in most organisations.
It should be noted that these thriving scams should never be taken lightly by organisations. Whenever a scam involves the taking of personal data of users, organisations should always ensure that their employees, as the weakest link to an organisation’s cybersecurity, will never be compromised as it would risk the organisation from a financial penalty from the PDPC.
Here are the 5 scams in Singapore and Asia you should watch out for in 2022.
1. Phishing scams
Cybercriminals widely use phishing scams as it is the easiest way to trick their victims. This can be through text messages, Smishing, or voice phishing, commonly known as Vishing.
Under Smishing and Vishing, scammers trick people into giving their sensitive personal information, such as bank details. These scammers usually represent themselves as personnel from a bank and ask for their credit card details for some services needed to render.
Usually, victims will only realise that they have been robbed after their bank accounts had been wiped clean without any trace from the bad actors.
2. Relationship scams
A well-known relationship scam existing nowadays is Pig-butchering. It got its name from the ways victims are being “fatten up” with promises of riches and romance to get them to trust the supposed lover and eventually get them interested in investing.
Bad actors usually look for their next victim through dating apps, pretending to be interested in long-term relationships. Once they find their prey, they spend months cultivating the relationship before they urge them to invest in bogus investment schemes.
Also Read: Data governance framework: What organisations in Singapore should know
3. Investment scams
Users here are tricked into downloading applications that appear to be legitimate. Typical apps are popular cryptocurrency platforms to trade various cryptocurrencies. Once the victim already invested their money, they can no longer take it back.
Here, victims are lured by the higher interest rates that it gives compared to the legitimate ones. These counterfeit platforms have already been detected and it was found out that some 44,000 apps are counterfeit, many of them investment scams.
4. Online shopping scams
Due to the pandemic, people were forced to go digital for their daily needs. These include shopping online for commodities. This was taken advantage of by scammers in their scheme of tricking people by setting up fake retailer websites for goods, especially those which are branded.
These websites house luxury items such as watches, designer bags, jewelry, and electronics at a very low price. With such a price, victims are lured to buy in bulk but only to receive nothing in return on its delivery date.
5. Job scams
Scammers here pretend to be recruiters offering jobs that are paying well with minimal work. These scams include offering work as a mystery shopper or a personal assistant. Once the unsuspecting victim grabs the bait, they will be led to a website where the victim will be required to sign up using their personal information and make upfront payments for them to earn commissions.
Scammers here prey on workers who are desperate to have a job, which will only end up them being robbed of their personal information and money.
Scams are rampant nowadays, and this should worry organisations. As these scams also involve the personal information of the victims, there is a possibility that scammers can target the employees of an organisation to infiltrate its servers and databases. To avoid this, organisations must ensure that it has policies in place for the employees to follow with regard to cybersecurity practices, and they must be aware of the possibility that they could be a target of these scams.