• Monday, May 20, 2024


Singapore reports surge in scams targeting migrant maids


By: Pramod Thomas

AS MANY AS 500 migrant maids working in Singapore fell victim to scams last year, an increase of 18 per cent from the 423 cases of duping reported in 2022, according to home affairs minister K Shanmugam.

Most of the domestic workers in Singapore come from India, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asian countries.

Responding to a question in Parliament on Wednesday (3), Shanmugam said that agencies regularly carry out anti-scam education efforts for workers employed in Singapore.

“As many as 500 migrant maids fell victim to scams in 2023. It is 18 per cent increase from the 423 duping cases reported in 2022,” he told the Parliament.

“As part of the ministry of manpower’s mandatory settling-in programme, workers are taught measures that they can adopt to protect themselves from scams,” Shanmugam said in a written reply to a question on raising workers’ awareness in such cases.

“They are educated on the latest scam trends, so that they are equipped to detect scams and become advocates for scam prevention within their own community,” The Straits Times quoted Shanmugam as responding to the question in the house.

According to the annual scams statistics for 2023, the number of scam cases hit a record high, with a total of 46,563 cases reported.

Over £382 million was lost that year, and more than £1.4 billion has been lost to scams since 2019.

The top three types of scams which foreign maids fell for in 2021 were phishing, Internet love and loan scams, the police said.

The police also run the Domestic Guardians Programme, which trains migrant domestic workers on how to prevent common crimes such as housebreaking, trespassing, and scams.

In 2022, 357 domestic (foreign) workers fell prey to scams, a rise from the 216 victims in 2020, according to a report.


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