Overall crime dips but rise in online scams

From January to June, e-mail impersonation scams hit 160 cases, up from 124 in the same period last year.
From January to June, e-mail impersonation scams hit 160 cases, up from 124 in the same period last year. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

A businesswoman, 45, spent more than $1 million earlier this year in a bid to help free a "close friend" allegedly detained on money laundering suspicions in Malaysia.

The Singaporean permanent resident ended up losing the money and being among the victims of 349 Internet love scams reported in the first half of this year. There were 277 such cases in the same period last year, said the police in announcing mid-year crime figures yesterday.

Overall crime fell by 0.5 per cent in the first six months of this year to 16,375 cases, from 16,452 in the first half of last year. But online scams posed greater concern. From January to June, e-mail impersonation scams hit 160 cases, up from 124 in the same period last year.

There were also more outrage of modesty cases - 717, up from 655 cases. In particular, such incidents at entertainment nightspots rose from 44 to 52 cases.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2017, with the headline 'Overall crime dips but rise in online scams'. Print Edition | Subscribe