Scams are big business, particularly online. $99 million was lost to scams in Singapore in 2017* and the total number of scam cases increased by 20.6% in 2018.** But scammers aren’t just after money – they’re out to steal your identity too.
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A scam is designed to trick you into giving away your money or personal or financial information. The first online scams were impersonal and random but today they’re sophisticated, and anyone can fall victim.
According to Scam Alert, the number one scam type in Singapore in 2019 is an online purchase scam. These scams tempt customers with fantastic deals on items or tickets to events. Sometimes, the seller will reach out again, demanding further payment for duties or delivery charges. The goods never arrive.
You can help protect yourself against this scam by always asking yourself 2 questions:Is it a realistic deal or does it feel “too good to be true”?Is it a reputable seller? Does the website seem legitimate?
You’re randomly offered a loan online, but you’re asked to transfer a deposit first. They’ll often ask for financial or personal information as well.
Scammers impersonate your friends or family online and ask for money to get out of trouble. Contact them another way first to make sure it’s real.
A long play, the love scammer engages your emotions before asking for money to visit you or for an emergency. Victims will often send money multiple times.
Scammers pretend to be from government agencies, the police or banks, claiming your identity has been used for illegal activity. They’ll often ask for financial or personal information.
Change your password, PIN and security questions immediately for all your accounts, even those that haven’t been compromised. Information fraudsters have found may give them access to many of your accounts.
Report the incident to the police, PayPal, your banks and your credit card providers. Ask your bank or card provider for the fraud department, explain what’s happened and ask how they can help.
Make sure your contact details are up-to-date and no unknown phone numbers or emails have been added. Closely review your accounts for unexpected activity.
Identity theft can strike twice. Thieves may have access to more information than you originally notice and can use that to target you again. Stay vigilant by regularly updating your passwords and reviewing your account activity.
When you pay with PayPal, your eligible purchases can be covered. If something you’ve bought doesn’t arrive or match the seller’s description, Buyer Protection can cover the full purchase amount, including shipping costs.*
More about Buyer Protection
*Terms and conditions apply.