Scammers amass $1
Scammers made off with an estimate amount of $1.02 trillion between August 2022 and August 2023 globally with victims in Singapore faced the highest average losses, according to a study by the Global Anti-Scam Alliance (GASA) and ScamAdviser, reported The Straits Times.
The figure has surpassed the previous losses of $55.3 billion in 2021 and $47.8 billion in 2020, the report added.
GASA managing director Jorij Abraham revealed the data during the opening speech on Wednesday at the fourth annual Global Anti-Scam Summit in Portugal's Lisbon. Abraham warned that scammers utilize more sophisticated traps and the most prevalent scams globally are those involving online shopping, identity theft and investments.
He stressed the necessity of infrastructural measures, such as blocking scam sites, to provide more comprehensive consumer protection.
Abraham also said that increased losses were attributed to the limitations of calculating losses based on figures from law enforcement agencies, which typically account for only about 7% of all scams.
The study surveyed 49,459 individuals from 43 countries in which they were asked about the types of frauds they fall into and the amount they lost to fraudsters. The data was then extrapolated based on each country's population, the report added.
The study emphasised that the average scam victim in Singapore lost $4,031, the highest globally, followed by Switzerland at $3,767 and Austria at $3,484, pointing to the appeal of these affluent nations as targets for scammers.
Meanwhile, the data released by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) in February 2023 showed that victims in lost a total of $660.7 million in 2022, up from $632 million in 2021.
Dr Ng Li Sa, Director of Policy Development and Security at the Ministry of Home Affairs in Singapore, emphasised the pressing nature of the issue and the active measures being employed to combat it.
She underscored that the perpetrators targeting Singapore are primarily operating from abroad, emphasizing that the effective implementation of the law and the recovery of funds rely heavily on international collaboration.
GASA is an organisation that facilitates collaboration between policymakers, law enforcement agencies, and cybersecurity bodies. It collaborates with ScamAdviser, a service that aids in identifying scam websites.