SINGAPORE - The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and the Singapore Police Force (SPF) have launched the first of three anti-scam commercials.
These commercials, which will be rolled out progressively in 2015, are produced as part of the nationwide Anti-Scam Public Education Campaign.
Statistics released by SPF in January 2015 showed that crime rate in 2014 increased by 7.4% from 29,984 cases in 2013 to 32,196 cases in 2014.
The increase was largely due to a spike in the number of cheating involving e-commerce cases like online purchase scams.
To combat the rising trend, the NCPC and SPF launched a nationwide campaign in 2014 to educate the public on how they can protect themselves from scams.
The commercial rolled out today aims to remind the public on how scammers often manipulate victims' emotions, desires and weaknesses to make a successful transaction.
This commercial features cyber extortion and lottery scams, which are amongst the top 10 scams in Singapore.
The number of reported cyber extortion scam cases increased by 149 cases from 108 in 2013 to 257 in 2014.
The amount lost to this scam also increased by $89,000 from $56,000 in 2013 to $145,000 in 2014.
Lottery scams, on the other hand, increased by 91 cases from 213 in 2013 to 304 in 2014. The amount lost also increased by $100,000 from $3.3 million in 2013 to $3.4 million in 2014.
The commercial will be aired on all local TV channels from today. The other two commercials, covering money mule and online purchase scams, will be broadcast later this year.
Mr Jeffery Chin, Senior Psychologist and Assistant Director from the Crime, Investigation and Forensic Psychology Branch at the Home Team Behavioural Sciences Centre shared, "Scammers prey on common errors in decision making and use persuasion tactics commonly seen in mass marketing contexts to influence their victims. For instance, scammers target our needs and desires (e.g. greed, desire to be liked, fear). They tend to stir up strong emotions when interacting with their potential victims and lead them to over-focus on the benefits on offer. Many scammers would also provide potential victims limited time to consider their offers. These results in their victims lowering their guard and not think about the situation in-depth."
Mr Tan Kian Hoon, Chairman of NCPC, said, "Scams, particularly those committed over the Internet, are often very difficult to detect or act against as these individuals can easily make use of the convenience and anonymity of the Internet to commit their illicit activities. My advice to everyone: Remain calm, do not act on impulse and always exercise caution when you interact or transact with strangers, especially those you meet online."