Published: 12 February 2015
Mr Ang Wei Neng: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs (a) what are the additional measures that the police is embarking on, including co-operation with other Government agencies, to prevent further escalation of crimes involving e-commerce; and (b) how many cheating cases involving e-commerce have been solved in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Oral reply by Mr S Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry
1. There were 238 reported cases of cheating involving e-commerce in 2012, 510 cases in 2013, and 1,659 cases in 2014. The sharp increase reflects the growth of online shopping transactions, and greater awareness and reporting of such crimes.
2. From 2012 to 2014, 132 arrests were made in connection with such cases. However, many perpetrators are based overseas, making it harder for the Police to track them down. Investigations also take more time given the trans-boundary nature of such crimes and Police need to work closely with their international counterparts.
3. As more people are making purchases online, criminals will attempt to capitalise on this trend. Police will continue to educate consumers to beware of such scams when they do online shopping. For example, in November 2014, the National Crime Prevention Council and the Police launched a nationwide Anti-Scam Public Education Campaign to raise public awareness of common scams in Singapore. This includes a new website, advertisements and other materials that explain how scams are carried out.
4. The Police are also working closely with partners such as the Media Development Authority, Monetary Authority of Singapore, major financial institutions and online shopping sites to broaden efforts to educate consumers about online scams.