Cybercrime In Singapore

9 Mar

Although we live in a country who is reputably famous for the incredibly long arms of justice, criminals still lurks amongst us.

As mentioned in my post in Week Four, the ability to remain anonymous online gives the perfect climate for cybercriminals to strike. Under a fake identity, people basically think they can do anything and everything they want. Just browse through forums and social networking sites and you can see how bold and outrageous some people can get. With the convenience and flexibility of the internet, many people are going online to do their shopping. This brings me to a case which happened  in 2009.

The Straits Times, August 14 2009.

Believe it or not, many people get scammed on a daily basis through blogshop transactions. There are just so many ways to get scammed.

As a buyer: item not received, wrong item received, item does not fit description/picture etc.

As a seller: money not received, buyer claims item is not received and demands for refund when he/she actually received it, buyer provides fake payment details etc.

And why is it so common? Because all it takes is a blog, things you can/want to sell/buy and that’s it, you are a seller/buyer. No rent, no costs, no obligations, no responsibility, nothing. When something goes wrong, people just delete their accounts and create a new one.

This case created a big hoo-ha back then in the blogshopping community because it was the first ever case which actually saw some police action involved. It was the first time people realized that it is possible to catch scammers despite bogus accounts under a fake identity. This created the implementation of more stringent rules to verify the integrity of blogshop sellers. This includs the mandatory feedback count which has testimonials from previous buyers.

An interesting thing to note about this case is, the woman who got prosecuted is a student studying in SIM.

Isn’t it scary how the apparent anonymity of the internet, plus greed, can make an average student just like my peers and I, succumb to crime?

This serves as a wake up call for me to be more wary about who I am dealing with online. Most of the time, I do review the seller’s feedback before making my decision to purchase and I believe it is quite an effective way to prevent myself from being a victim of cybercrime. In addition, dealing only with established websites can be another preventive measure.

It doesn’t take much to be a little more careful does it? (:

References

1) http://www.asiaone.com/Business/SME%2BCentral/eBiz%2BHub/Story/A1Story20090814-161136.html

2) http://k-sayuri-scam.blogspot.com/


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