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Natalie Kwan
4 min read

Ultimate Survival Guide to Avoiding Cyber Scams in Singapore

Protect yourself by identifying and avoiding the different types of popular cyber scams in Singapore, and what to do if you are caught in them.

Ultimate Survival Guide to Avoiding Cyber Scams in Singapore

Picture this: You’re scrolling through Facebook on your phone, when suddenly something catches your attention.Someone has tagged you in a comment on Facebook that says:

“You've been selected! As part of our giveaway, we will airdrop 50 BTC to selected community members. All you need to do is transfer 0.05 BTC to this address and you will get 3X the amount back!”

Your gut feeling tells you it's too good to be true. Yet again, the comment appears to be posted by a legitimate company’s Facebook account. It looks easy and you could really use some extra cash. Temptation gets the better of you and you do it. You transfer the amount to the address and you wait.

Three full days pass and you’ve checked your bitcoin wallet several times. No 3X returns in sight...

Online Fraud Remains Prevalent in Singapore

Online fraud remains rampant in Singapore —  in 2020 alone, over S$1 million was lost to cyber scams from January to May.

Over S$201 million was swindled in the top 10 scam types in 2020, reporting an alarming 65.1% increase in casesfrom 2019 (9,545 cases) to 2020 (15,756 cases).

Social Media Impersonation Scams

Source


As of Sep 2020, social media impersonation scams have amassed a total loss of S$2.7 million.

This involves cybercriminals using spoofed social media accounts to reach out to unsuspecting individuals to obtain their personal information, like banking details or one-time-passwords. In certain instances, they can pretend to be legitimate companies online and contact social media users under the pretext of hosting lucky draws and giveaway contests.

Always look out for the blue tick to ensure that the Facebook pages you interact with are verified, official pages.

Screenshot of Coinhako’s Official and Verified Facebook Page




Internet Love Scams

Within the first half of 2020 alone, the total value lost to love scams in Singapore amassed to an alarming $13.4 million - one unfortunate victim lost a total of $1 million SGD.

Love scams are way more common than they seem. They occur when a cybercriminal adopts a fake online persona to gain their victim’s affections and trust, with the ultimate goal of using the illusion of a close relationship to eventually steal from the victim.

Phishing Scams

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Phishing scams are one of the most common fraud tactics out there. In such instances, cybercriminals masquerade as legitimate organisations to steal sensitive information.

These may come in the form of emails or text messages, and can look very similar to content produced by companies or individuals you trust.

Phone and Telegram Scams

Ever gotten a call from an unknown caller, claiming that you have a parcel detained by local customs, or a bank account that may be terminated if you don't take action?

Among other scam types, robocalls have also been on the rise. In fact, the largest sum lost to a phone scam in early 2020 amounted to a hefty S$958,000.

Other mobile messaging apps like Telegram and Whatsapp have also sprouted as popular avenues for cybercriminals to target potential victims.

Many bad actors on Telegram have pretended to be Coinhako staff to deceive unsuspecting users into providing sensitive information like passwords and OTPs, or even to transfer funds.

Please note that Coinhako admins will never message you .

👉 For more information on Telegram scams, click HERE.

Investment Scams

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Investment scams are popular in Singapore, for many individuals throw caution to the wind when offered lucrative promises of high monetary returns.

These investment opportunities may be positioned as “high-profit, low-risk”, and many have even taken to social media to share success stories, in hopes of luring in new victims.

To stay safe, just remember that if something seems good to be true, you should probably stay away from it.

How Do You Know That You’re Being Scammed?

  • If you are being asked to transfer funds to another party with the promise of higher monetary returns
  • If an investment opportunity sounds too good to be true
  • If you receive emails from dubious addresses that request for personal information
  • If you are being asked for confidential information such as NRIC, passwords, banking or any account login details
  • If an unknown party sends you unsolicited messages.

What To Do If You’re A Victim of Cyber Fraud

There are some actions you can take if you find yourself in such unfortunate situations.

  1. Call 1800-722-6688 if you suspect that you may have been scammed. This is a hotline operated by local law enforcers and the National Crime Prevention Council in Singapore.
  2. File a police report.

Stay Vigilant and Fight Cybercrime

Prevention is always better than cure. Here are some measures worth taking to avoid falling prey to fraud!

  1. Download the Scamshield app, an application that protects you against unsolicited messages and calls from unknown contacts or known scammers.
  2. Avoid clicking on dubious links.
  3. Visit scamalert.sg to be informed about the latest fraudulent activities.
  4. Avoid responding to unsolicited messages online requesting for sensitive information.


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All opinions expressed here by Coinhako.com are intended for educational purposes, taken from the research and experiences of the writers of the platform, and should not be taken as investment or financial advice.