What leads to the upsurge of online scams in Singapore?

Online scams are still trending in Singapore even after the fall in cyber threats.

As we all know that people of Singapore saw fewer cases of online scams during the past few years, but it is not the case now. According to the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), crime has continued to hike and has taken the fifth position in the all crimes list of Singapore.

Although cyber threats such as website defacement saw a notable decrease in cases in the previous year, online scams such as cheating scams continue to rise as for now. It is costing a huge amount to the people of Singapore who fall victim to e-commerce scams. The report made by CSA showed that the e-commerce platform through which these scams took place is commonly known as Carousel which included electronic products and tickets to different places of attractions.

Email impersonation scam is also running in the same race, where people lost millions of dollars this year. The websites which trick people into falling prey of this scam is mostly run by small or medium enterprises, affecting large organizations.

Not only small businesses were affected, but even the two websites of Singapore Government also faced defacement. The agency made no further discussion on it but hinted towards the fact that the data of 101 web pages which belonged to different companies were compromised by a single criminal in one day.

The online scams seem to rise because of the increase in fake websites which trick users into revealing their personal information and making them vulnerable to hacking. Companies who are into banking and financial services are also paving the way for scams by making fake companies which deceived many people in the previous year.

Website defacements, phishing, and ransomware seemed to have a fall in the previous year but are now increasing rapidly. The medical data breach also took place where the personal information of millions of patients became vulnerable to hacking.

The chief executive of CSA took our attention towards learning from these incidents and pushing further in our cybersecurity efforts collectively as a nation so that one can defend against increasing threats and prepare for a safe future. Cyber-criminal activities account for almost 20 percent of all crime in Singapore and online scams remain a concern too.

Drop in some common cyber threats

Phishing

This is when fraudulent emails are sent, purporting to come from reputable companies, in a bid to induce the recipient to disclose personal information and it is one of the simplest yet most effective methods used by hackers to steal sensitive personal data of the people. The number of cases dropped in comparison to the previous year phishing scams.

Website defacement

As with previous years, the majority of the websites affected small- and medium-sized enterprises as well as larger organizations.

Ransomware

This involves malicious software being installed in the target’s system, blocking the access of the user to his computer system until a specific amount is paid.

As compared to the last year, the number of ransomware cases saw a major drop. In the CSA report it was found that cyber threat remains “lucrative and continues to evolve in sophistication” and a more aggressive form of ransomware, called GandCrab, infected a private financial institution in Singapore in February last year. GandCrab has infected more than half a million computer systems across the globe and is believed to have made people lose a handsome amount.

Ever-growing cyber crimes

Based on the latest report made by CSA, cyber-criminal activities continued to rise in the last three years. With more than 6K cases detected last year, cybercrime formed a major part of the overall crime rate in Singapore.

Cyber threats are set to become more “targeted, sophisticated and deceptive” in the coming years. More frequent data breaches will show up that will try to breach computer databases, especially those that store large amounts of private and personal information of the users.

To conclude-

Cybercriminals who use AI to search for vulnerabilities in computer systems and create “smarter’” malware are also increasing day by day. In addition to this, biometric data is becoming more valuable to cybercriminals for building virtual identities of people and using it to accomplish their targets. Therefore, it is the need of the hour to stay protected by using security software such as Norton on your devices.