Singapore Records Over $11m In Losses Due To iGaming Scams
Singapore has a reputation of being one of the safest cities in Asia as the authorities have very stringent rules in place to for criminals. This is one of the reasons why it is a bit strange to see that Singapore has recorded a huge increase in gambling related scams.
Singapore has two mega casino resorts in the iconic Marina Bay Sands operated by Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Resorts World which is operated by the Genting Group. Singaporeans are allowed to visit these land based casinos and gamble as per gaming regulations. However, online gambling is not allowed.
This has not stopped illegal online gambling operators from penetrating Singapore and offering iGaming services to Singapore’s gamblers. There are some illegal iGaming sites that offer fair gaming but there are also quite a few rotten apples that scam players.
The Singapore Police Force recently reported that online gambling crimes during 2019-2020 accounted for S$15.4 million in losses during this period, the equivalent of USD $11.6 million.
There has been a significant increase in online gambling crimes during this period. The number has skyrocketed by over 18 times to reach 299 cases. The Singapore Police Force investigated a total of 359 scams targeting online casino players during this period and found that 83 percent of these scams came from fake gambling sites. The authorities investigated 98 individuals who allegedly had ties to this scam.
How The Scam Works?
These con artists used a variety of different sites ranging from social media to online dating sites to lure individuals to ‘fake’ online casinos that had loopholes in these. Unsuspecting individuals were conned into believing they would be able to exploit these loopholes and win a big payout.
They were given a link to these fake ‘online casinos’ asked to create an account and make a deposit to start playing. This is standard procedure when it comes to playing at any online casino. However, the con artists told these players that their deposits would be converted into huge betting credits that they could later withdraw.
When players tried to withdraw their winnings, they found that they accounts were frozen. They were conned into parting with more money to unlock their account. The scammers would then take the site offline and stop all communication.
Singapore has reiterated that if any individual in Singapore opens an online gambling account, they will be prosecuted. They could face a fine of S$5,000, face 6 months in jail or be hit with both penalties.