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2,517 online scams were reported to the police during 2023, more than double the amount reported in 2022.

Minister for Home Affairs, Security Reforms and Equality Byron Camilleri revealed the figure as he was replying to a parliamentary question submitted by Opposition MP Darren Carabott earlier this week.

Minister Camilleri stated that in 2022, the year such data first started being electronically stored on the police’s system, there were 1,088 cases of online fraud.

Additionally, Dr Carabott had also questioned how many of such cases had actually been solved and taken care of.

“I am informed that most of these cases are still at an investigation stage, primarily because the majority of them originate from foreign countries, aside from other complexities, and the information regarding how many of these cases have been solved is not available,” Minister Camilleri said.

He warned that the best tool in the protection against this type of abuse is education and the promotion of awareness so that individuals can avoid “all types of potential threats in this regard.”

Some €12.5 million were lost to scams in 2023, nearly 50 per cent more than the €8.5 million lost in 2022, according to figures obtained by The Times of Malta from the police.

Over the past year, a number of local businesses have urged customers to be cautious about various online scams asking for bank details and other personal information. Banks in particular have been targeted by phishing scams, with customers receiving messages by text, call or email, pretending to be a reputable source, urging users to provide information or click a suspicious website link.

In recent months, the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) has also sought to warn the public against theft, stating that they have to be vigilant, particularly when shopping online.

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