What To Do If You Have Been Scammed – Get your money back from a scam Advice on the next step you should take to help you get your money back.
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What To Do If You Have Been Scammed
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Your mood can have a huge impact on your mental health. You may find it helpful to talk to someone about what you are going through. It’s not your fault, and there are plenty of non-judgmental advice lines you can call who you understand.
A confidential information and support line, Mind Infoline, is available at Mind on 0300 123 3393 (lines open 9am – 6pm, Monday – Friday).
Victim Support has a free helpline where you can speak to someone confidentially on 0808 16 89 111 (lines open 24/7).
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By sharing scam details, we help protect others, as well as inform our scam content, research and policy work. We will collect information related to your cam experience, but we will not be able to identify your responses unless you choose to provide your contact details.
Scammers steal hundreds of millions of pounds from innocent victims every year. Claim banks and businesses protect us from scams by signing the petition. Within this year alone, 1,491 cases have been affected by scams and 102 people across the island are being investigated for their alleged scams. The number of scams in Singapore has increased. With the help of popular apps such as WeChat and Carousell, it is easier for fraudsters to track their prey and extract personal data for dishonest purposes. According to Scamalert.sg, a website created by the Singapore Police Force, the range of scams has increased – from online shopping scams and internet romance scams to credit for sex scams and even investment scams.
Unfortunately, more and more individuals are becoming victims for this reason, making it harder for authorities to facilitate it. The truth is: we are not all safe from this offence. We live in a digital world, where almost everyone has access to our personal information. Therefore, we must not only take precautions, but do our part to bring the fraudster to justice.
With technology advancing so much, scams are on the rise all over the web space. Scamalert.sg helped us understand the signs to identify different scams.
Common Online Scams (be Aware)
The simplest way a scam can happen is through a phone call. In such cases, the fraudster may disguise himself as a representative of a company, bank or even a government organization. It may be normal to receive a phone call. However, it may be suspicious if the call is received unexpectedly, or from an unknown or unaffiliated organization. Some calls may not necessarily be from an organization, they may be from a stranger who thinks they know you.
Usually, a fraudster may call you to extract your personal details to use for a false purpose. Personal data may include your bank account details and your home address.
Another way scams can occur is through the use of electronic communications. These platforms can include email, SMS and popular apps like Whatsapp, Messenger, WeChat, Carousell. This method of communication allows scammers to easily access your profile as they can reveal your personal details.
Through electronic communication, scammers may inform you of a prize or monetary gain. To get that profit, they may ask you to forward your bank account details to them so they can transfer the prize money. Greed and convenience entice thousands of victims to believe scammers.
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The language and tone of the alleged scammer can be used to identify a scam. Companies, banks and government organizations usually delegate workers with excellent communication skills to communicate with customers. In some cases, many victims come across scammers who impersonate these workers but have poor verbal communication. Poor grammar and linguistics may indicate that the “worker” may not actually work for the purported company.
A scammer may ask you to keep quiet about their actions, or ask you to do a task quickly. He might not be willing to give you his contact details either. Ironically, this is contrary to the practice of any organization. These signs can indicate suspicion of a scam. If in doubt, stop communication with the individual and physically consult with the organization, for any questions.
It’s not the end of the world if you’ve just been scammed. As a victim, you can do your part to bring the scammer to justice. There are several steps you can take if you have been scammed.
The Singapore Police Force and the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) have launched a helpline. With this helpline, victims can seek advice as well as formulate action plans.
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You can file a police report and take the help of the police to deal with the scammer. This can be done at your nearest police station. The Singapore Police Force website: https://www.police.gov.sg/ can also be used to lodge your complaint. To strengthen your complaint, make sure you collect and provide sufficient evidence in your scam report. This includes mentioning the seller’s bank account details or even screenshots of your conversation.
If the investigation is successful, the scammer will most likely be charged in court in terms of one of the articles from Article 415 to Article 420 of the Criminal Code, depending on the seriousness of the offense. The penalty for a simple cheating offense is imprisonment for up to 3 years, or a fine, or both. However, an aggravated form of fraud may result in a more severe prison sentence of up to 10 years, or a fine, or both.
By submitting a report, you help keep Singapore safe from such scammers. This will help prevent similar incidents from happening to others.
Note, however, that there is no guarantee that you will receive compensation. Insufficient evidence or the fact that the court did not order the scammer to pay can prevent you from getting your remedy.
Report A Scam / Fraud
You can lodge a Magistrate’s complaint against the scammer in the Community Law Tribunals (CJTD) of the state courts. This applies to cases of e-commerce scams where the seller (scammers) refuses to deliver the item, after the buyer has paid for it. The court will investigate whether the complaint is legitimate. If so, the police will investigate the matter.
Note, however, that filing a magistrate’s report can be more expensive than filing a police report. Like the Police Report, there is no guarantee that the lost money will be kept.
If you experience an online scam – via electronic means of communication, you can report the scammer to the respective ISP. For example, on Carousell you can report the seller or their listing to the Carousell support team.
With email service providers such as Google and Yahoo there is an icon within the email itself that allows you to sign up for ‘phishing’ or ‘spam’. You can find that icon next to ‘Answer’, under ‘More’ there is an option to report phishing.
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You can also take the initiative to report the matter to the company or organization that was imitated. By doing so, you inform the organization and help them modify their security provisions.
You can file a complaint at the online commercial portal. You can report the dishonest seller to the portal. The portal will then take relevant action.
Especially for e-commerce scams, you can file a claim against the fraudster at the Small Claims Tribunals (SCT). The SCT can hear claims from any contract for the sale of goods up to S$10,000.
Under Section 11 of the Electronic Transactions Act, an effective contract can be formed through electronic communication. This applies to e-commerce scams. All claims must also be submitted within one year of issue.
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CASE can help with e-commerce scams. CASE helps you with the process of resolving your dispute. He can help you draft a letter to the retailer and advise you on options for legal action.
If you are in doubt, or if you suspect a possible scam, call this helpline. This helpline will provide you with advice and action plans. This helpline has been launched by the Singapore Police Force. Call 999 for any urgent police enquiries.
If you notice suspicious activity, stop communicating with the individual. Do not give your personal and bank account details. Do not send any money without verifying the purpose and need of the task.
Be careful when befriending strangers on social media. Verify their profile to make sure it’s a real person and an account that isn’t attracting any suspicious attention.
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Online scam can happen in many situations. The simplest type of scam is sometimes also the
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