A statistical report by Statista in April 2022 revealed that commercial crime is one of the most common types of crime in Singapore, especially fraud and scamming. The country is actually known for low to zero crime rates. It also has a reputation as one of the safest cities, not just in Asia but across the world. Due to the harsh penalties from the High Court, citizens and people residing there are afraid to commit crimes and strictly follow the laws enforced.
Fraud is one of the most common cases a criminal lawyer in Singapore typically handles since the introduction of social media and the internet began. These days, more and more Singaporeans are getting involved in using technological advancements. Moreover, their everyday lives are becoming more dependent on gadgets, the internet, and the online world, thus, resulting in criminals taking advantage.
The number and prevalence of ecommerce transaction scamming cases are becoming more and more terrifying. This type of crime is likely to happen, considering the nature of ecommerce. If you experience the same fraud case, find a criminal law firm in Singapore, speak with a lawyer, and do these.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUFFER FROM SCAMMING?
Getting scammed can be draining and upsetting, especially when the crook robbed a large amount of money away from you and your bank. Although things are challenging, you must remember that it is not the end of the world. There is hope when you hire a criminal lawyer in Singapore. As a victim, you can do your part in bringing the scammer to justice. Take these several steps into consideration if you have got scammed.
1. SUSPEND ALL BANKING ACCESS.
Before hiring a family lawyer in Singapore and filing reports, first things first! Immediately call your bank and ask them to suspend any suspicious banking transactions, such as cash withdrawals, bank transfers, online payments, cash deposits, wire transfers, online payments, debit card charges, and loan payments. In addition, ask them to deny all access to your banking, whether through digital, online, mobile, or physical banking. Once activated, the affected banking accounts will no longer be accessible to the scammer.
2. CALL 1800-722-6688.
Aside from calling a criminal lawyer in Singapore, it is also critical to call for help from the Singapore Police Force and the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC). These two authorities recently launched a dedicated helpline for victims of scams, phishing, and fraud across the country. With this hotline, victims can seek advice or consult an authority when they suspect someone who will scam them, their bank accounts, or their payment transactions. They can give you pieces of advice or help you formulate plans of action.
3. FILE A POLICE REPORT.
Once you are a hundred per cent sure of being scammed, your next step is to file a police report. You can do this alone, with a family member, or with a family lawyer in Singapore. You may visit the nearest police station or lodge your report on their website, https://www.police.gov.sg/. Accumulate and furnish all documents, proofs, screenshots and online conversations, as these pieces can serve as substantial evidence and help the authorities find leads. Add in everything, even the tiniest details, when making a police report, such as the exact time, date, website or portal, the bank account of the seller, your bank account, screenshots of your conversation, and other crucial details.
If the investigation is successful and the authorities have found the offender, then and only then your criminal lawyer in Singaporecan file charges. The swindler can deal with different lawsuits in court under one of the sections from Section 415 to Section 420 of the Penal Code. They may face a punishment of imprisonment term that may extend up to three years, pay a hefty fine, or both. Their penalty can depend on the severity of the offence. However, in the worst case of phishing or scamming, they may get charged with an imprisonment term of up to ten years.
4. CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD.
While waiting for the charges and letting your criminal lawyer in Singaporedeal with the lawsuit, change all your passwords, including your bank accounts and social media access. If you ask the bank to suspend your account temporarily, it is also an effective way to keep your money safe. Once on hold, any digital banking access will get halted, and no one, including you, will be able to log in to the account. To reactivate your account, call the bank again or visit the nearest branch. As much as possible, make it a habit to change your digital banking passwords. This technique can be another line of defence from scammers.
5. FILE A MAGISTRATE COMPLAINT.
With the help of your criminal lawyer in Singapore, file a Magistrate complaint at the Community Justice Tribunals (CJTD) against the swindler. The CJTD handles all cases concerning ecommerce scams or fraud reports, such as when the buyer never paid, the seller wouldn’t want to replace the broken item, the seller never handed the parcel, and the like. Once they receive your Magistrate complaint, the CJTD will investigate whether the complaint is legitimate and coordinate with the local police force for help.
6. REPORT THE FRAUDSTER TO THE RESPECTIVE PORTAL.
Since it was an ecommerce scam, you must also file a report to the platform administrators. With the help of your criminal lawyer in Singapore, lodge a complaint on the channel, whether it is an online commercial portal or a specific shop on a social media platform. Notify them against the fraudulent merchant and hand in the police report. Let them take relevant action on what happened.
7. LODGE A REPORT TO THE CASE.
If you still have not found a criminal lawyer in Singaporeto work with, the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) can be a helping hand. CASE helps victims of ecommerce scams. They can help provide you with tips on settling your dispute, drafting a letter to the retailer, advising you on options regarding legal proceedings, and any other processes involving your complaint.
BATTLING WITH EVERYTHING…
Without the help and presence of a criminal lawyer in Singapore, everything can get draining. You will deal with the distress of losing money, the stress of processing the entire lawsuit, and the hassle of talking to several people. Unfortunately, in most cases, victims never get their money back except if the scammer is also in the country. When it comes to scamming, prevention will always be better than cure. Do your due diligence by changing your passwords regularly, keeping an eye on your credit card statements and online accounts, and avoiding giving out personal information online.
In need of legal expertise regarding criminal, personal protection orders, probate, divorce, or family law in Singapore? Let Aspect Law Chambers help you battle a good fight. You may call them at +65 6908 7077 or head to their website to book a consultation.