31 Jul '11, 9pm

Phone kidnap scams are on the rise, possibly due to rise of personal information available on social networking sites

SINGAPORE - Phone kidnap scams, which first surfaced here in 2007, have spiked sharply in recent years. According to the police, the number of such scams - where victims receive calls from strangers demanding ransom for their next-of-kin or friend - being successfully pulled off jumped from 3 cases in the first five months of last year, to 25 cases in the same period this year. Correspondingly, the total amount of money taken from the victims increased five-fold, from S$24,000 to S$133,000. Between January and May, the police received a total of 307 reports from the public about such scams. The rise could be linked to the growing popularity of social networking websites such as Facebook. Said a police spokesman: "Members of the public should be careful in sharing personal information about themselves and their loved ones, especially on social media websites where their inf...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/Singapore/EDC110801-0000023/Mo...

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