SINGAPORE - As the number of online shoppers grows, so has the number of e-commerce scams, which rose by 11.4 per cent to 2,125 cases last year, up from 1,907 in 2017.
To combat this, the Singapore Police Force set up the E-commerce Fraud Enforcement & Coordination Team (E-FECT) in November last year.
Within two months of its formation, the team had arrested 26 e-commerce scammers and solved more than 230 e-commerce scams.
On Wednesday (June 12), the seven-member team was presented with the Team Commendation Award by Commissioner of Police, Mr Hoong Wee Teck, at the Commissioner of Police's Commendation Ceremony 2019 in recognition of its consistent outstanding work in its first two months of operation.
To the team, winning the award is only a milestone, not its endpoint, said Assistant Superintendent of Police Esh Jegadeeshwaran Wadarajan, 33, a member of E-FECT.
"When we receive an award for achieving something, it gives us a sense of joy... and we feel motivated to work even harder," he said.
Noting that suspects in e-commerce scams are more elusive and harder to nab, he urged shoppers to be wary when making online purchases, especially from unverified or poorly-reviewed sellers.
Other award winners included Staff Sergeant Mohamad Khairul Aidil Mohd, 29, who received the High Commendation award for going beyond his call of duty to detect and put a stop to a crime on Oct 28 last year.
Staff Sgt Khairul, who was off-duty at the time, successfully spotted and arrested a man who had been stealing copper wires.
He said that as a police officer, he is always on the alert, even when he is not on duty.
While receiving the award gave him a sense of accomplishment, Staff Sgt Khairul said his focus remains on "helping others and making sure that justice is served".
A total of 50 individual, 40 team and seven high commendation awards were given out.