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Another reason for concern: The number of online scams is on the rise.Police said commercial crimes increased by 1,387 cases in the first six months of this year compared with the same period in 2014."In this version, the ladies are portrayed to be from the Philippines and victims are asked to buy credits from a new platform, Money Online, or remit money to Philippines via Western Union and Moneygram." A police spokesman said the authorities are concerned because this new trend not only involves new syndicates using similar tactics as those responsible for credit-for-sex scams, but also shows that there are different syndicates in diverse regions looking for victims here.He said the new scam differed from those involving victims making advance payments to fraudsters for the purchase of goods, such as IT gadgets, phones or bicycles that are advertised on online portals.Now, the latest involves syndicates from the Philippines targeting social media users here.For this scam, men here receive unsolicited offers of sex by female strangers on social media platforms such as Facebook.The men are asked to make a deposit, usually by remittance to a foreign account, for a hook-up online or in person. Victims send money through Money Online (MOL), an e-payment gateway for online goods and services.Chairman of the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), Mr Tan Kian Hoon, said: "Scammers are always devising new ways to cheat victims and the latest scam is a variant of the credit-for-sex scam.
Credit-for-sex scam cases jumped from five between July and September last year to 285 for the same period this year. Between July and December last year, there were 66 credit-for-sex scam cases.
In the first six months of this year, there were 640.