MORE criminals are targeting victims on cyberspace, with online scams and cyber extortion on the rise, even as Singapore’s crime rate hit a 30-year low.
In the latest annual statistics released by the police yesterday, the crime rate last year was 549 per 100,000 people compared with 584 per 100,000 in 2012, and has been on the downtrend since 2005.
The total crime cases recorded last year fell 4.3% to 29,668 cases from 31,015 cases in 2012.
Of the six classes of crime that the cases are divided into, four of them registered lower figures last year – crimes against persons, housebreaking and related crimes, theft and related crimes, and miscellaneous crimes.
But the number of cases of commercial crime increased more than 10% to 3,880 cases last year.
Another category, violent or serious property crimes, also saw an increase.
The classification was renamed this year from “violent property crimes” to reflect the growing trend of cyber extortion cases.
Police identified cheating cases involving e-commerce as an area of concern – the number of such cases more than doubled to 509 cases last year from 238 cases in 2012.
Internet love scams saw a 62% increase last year to 81 cases. A total of S$5.8mil (RM15.2mil) was lost in such scams last year, compared to S$1.8mil (RM4.7mil) in 2012. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network