Published: 07 October 2019
Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs in light of more victims falling prey to scams (a) whether the Ministry can provide the age profiles of these victims; and (b) whether the Anti-Scam Centre can work with schools and institutes of higher learning in its outreach efforts.
1. Different segments of the population fall prey to different scam types.
2. E-commerce scam victims were mainly from the younger age groups - those below 35 years old - mirroring the demographic that is more likely to shop on e-commerce platforms, such as Carousell, which accounted for a significant number of scam cases.
3. For loan and investment scams, there was no age group that was particularly vulnerable.
4. The majority of credit-for-sex scam victims were young adults between the ages of 20 and 30.
5. In internet love scams, the victims were more likely to be middle-aged, with most victims being between the ages of 30 and 50 years old.
6. As for China officials impersonation scams, the distribution of the ages of the victims used to be quite evenly spread out. However, in recent years, we see these scammers targeting younger victims, with most of the victims in the first half of 2019 being young adults below the age of 30.
7. The Police have been working closely with the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) to raise public awareness on scams. These include outreach efforts to schools and institutes of higher learning. For example, the Police launched the “Young Police Buddy” initiative in December 2018, aimed at raising crime awareness, including scams, amongst primary school students. An anti-scam make-a-thon was organised on 23 September 2019 and 3 October 2019, tapping on the creativity of participating tertiary students to design solutions to tackle e-commerce scams.