SINGAPORE – The Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) handed out awards to more than 100 people who helped thwart 83 cases of scams last year.
The 114 people, from various organisations, were presented with Community Partnership Awards on Thursday (June 24) to recognise their contributions that led to the recovery of more than $3.2 million last year that would have otherwise been lost to scammers.
The CAD said most of the cases involved Internet love scams. It added that it was because of the swift intervention by these individuals that the department was able to intercept the scams.
The awards were also given to 17 organisations, including banks, remittance agencies and other businesses, which have been committed to detecting and preventing scams.
The award recipients included DBS Bank, UOB and Hako Technology, which operates cryptocurrency platform Coinhako.
In his speech at the ceremony held virtually on Thursday morning, CAD director David Chew noted that scams increased by more than 65 per cent last year as compared with 2019. He added that the amounts lost to scammers had also jumped from $170 million in 2019 to $268 million last year.
He said there have been several initiatives launched recently to build stronger relations between stakeholders and the police to better thwart scams.
These include the formation of the Inter-Ministry Committee on Scams in March last year that involved financial institutions and CAD working together to develop better measures and safeguards.
In January, the first joint operation by the Anti-Scam Centre and banks resulted in more than 200 victims being identified, as well as investigations into nearly 100 people for allowing their bank accounts to be used by scammers.
Mr Chew said that aside from these initiatives, public education has been a key area the CAD has been working on with the National Crime Prevention Council. Anti-scam campaigns have been launched to build a “scam-smart community” by sharing with the public the signs of scams to look out for.
“As scams are continuously evolving, law enforcement agencies have to keep up by identifying new partnerships with entities and organisations to effectively combat crimes in the online world,” Mr Chew said.
“It is even more important for us to remain ever vigilant and work together in our fight against scams. I am confident that with your support, we can make Singapore a safe place for us and our loved ones.”
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit this website or call the anti-scam hotline on 1800-722-6688.
Anyone with information on scams is advised to call 1800-255-0000 or submit information at this website.