From January to September, there were 448 cases of such scams reported, with at least $17 million pocketed by conmen. The figure stood at 244 cases for the same period last year.
A majority of the victims this year were women aged between 30 and 59 years old.
Many Singaporeans live a very busy life and find it difficult to find a life partner. Their sole attention has been channelled on finding suitable employment or more money for their financial needs and stability. They use dating apps to connect with people as they often believe the companies have some form of filter against fake accounts.
The danger of such platforms is that people often share a myriad of personal information, through their profiles or postings, that scammers can use to their benefit. A common practice in profiles is when
“When a person is caught up in the emotional connection, their only goal is to keep the relationship going,” he said.
“They feel good when they are able to help and they hope it can lead to something more.”
Other types of online scams involve those impersonating government officials or stockbrokers.
From January to September, victims lost at least $21 million in 428 cases, after they were told by “Chinese officials” that they had committed criminal offences.
Some were asked to provide their Internet banking details, while others were directed to a fake website of the Singapore Police Force or the Chinese police, where they had to key in their banking details, to redress those offences.
Other con artists approach victims on social media, claiming to be stockbrokers or financial executives with attractive investments.
There were 86 such cases from January to September, resulting in at least $4.4 million in losses.
Scammers would ask for the victim’s personal particulars, before directing him or her to transfer money to banks in Hong Kong or China. Extra money in the form of fake administrative fees or taxes were also collected.
Dating apps rose to fame in Singapore in between the years of 2008 to 2010. This was the period where Facebook made its storm entry into the southeast Asian market. People were able to interact with anyone from any part of the world without having to use a telecommunication or additional charges.
This made many app designers around the world excited and thus they came up with an even more mind-blowing solution. The one thing that we as humans yearn for, is Love. Despite our busy schedules, jobs, family commitments and etc. We all yearn for that one life partner that we can get.
Thus, many of these companies have improvised their app updates to a point where by it seems so convincing for people to fall in love and lose their money.