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Jan retail sales up 0.9%

The value of total retail sales in January, provisionally estimated at $36.5 billion, rose 0.9% compared with the same month in 2023, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate represents a 1.2% year-on-year decrease.   Of the total retail sales value in January, online sales accounted for 6.5%. Provisionally estimated at $2.4 billion, the value of this segment went down by 20.9% compared with a year earlier.   Noting that retail sales tend to show greater volatility in the first two months of a year due to the timing of the Lunar New Year, the department said the year-on-year comparison of the figures might have been affected to a certain extent.   The value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts increased 25.2% compared with January 2023.   Increases were also recorded in the sales of other consumer goods not elsewhere classified (up 7

Police to text anti-scam alert

Police announced today that starting January 2, its Anti-Deception Coordination Centre (ADCC) will expand the Upstream Scam Intervention scheme to include sending SMS messages to potential scam victims as a means to provide timely alerts and advice.

 

The force explained that the goal behind the move is to combat deception and minimise its impact on individuals and society.

 

The ADCC has registered with the Office of the Communications Authority’s Short Message Service Sender Registration Scheme. Its Registered SMS Sender ID is #ADCC18222.

 

The Upstream Scam Intervention scheme was launched in May 2023 in collaboration with 12 retail banks to enhance the efficacy of preventing deception and mitigating losses suffered by scam victims. By analysing suspicious bank accounts, the scheme identifies individuals who may be at risk of falling victim to scams.

 

Through co-ordinated efforts between the banks and Police, potential victims will be contacted via phone calls, police visits or SMS. During such interactions, the ADCC or bank officers will provide potential victims with information such as details of the implicated bank accounts so as to facilitate the potential victims’ verification and assessment.

 

As of end-November last year, 579 ongoing deception cases were intervened under the scheme.

 

Police reiterate that officers and bank staff will never request the disclosure of personal information or banking credentials. Furthermore, they will not ask users to transfer funds to any accounts during these interactions.

 

To verify callers’ identities, the public can call their banks or the ADCC directly. They are also encouraged to use the Scameter to check if the recipient bank accounts are associated with reported scams.


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