Published: 19 November 2018
Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs what is being done to reduce and prevent financial crimes targeting the elderly.
1. There are strong punishments to deter financial crimes against the elderly, which usually involve cheating. Offenders can face a jail term of up to 10 years, and a fine. The Government is also studying ways to strengthen our laws against cheating offences. The Penal Code Review Committee has made recommendations in this area, which the Government is studying.
2. Besides having strong punishments as deterrence, the Police have also taken steps to educate the elderly. For example, the Police work with the Residents’ Committees and grassroots volunteers to spread scam alert messages to residents, through community events like block parties, roadshows, festive events and Community Safety & Security Programmes (CSSPs). One such CSSP focusing on the elderly is the Silver Watch Group. Launched in 2013, the initiative aims to impart elderly residents with crime prevention knowledge by keeping them informed of the latest crime situation and encouraging them to share the relevant advice with their peers.
3. The Police have also worked with banks and remittance centres to identify potential victims and advise them to exercise caution when transferring money to unknown bank accounts. To increase public awareness, the Police have also put up anti-scam advisories near to ATM and AXS machines. Members of the public who wish to seek scam-related advice can call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688, or visit www.scamalert.sg.