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Singtel resorts to mini sitcom to help up Singaporeans’ scam quotient

Singtel Jaga your data

Singapore – In a bid to help stem the rising tide of scams, Singapore telecom giant Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) has released a campaign series to educate Singaporeans on identifying scams. 

Titled “Jaga your data!” where “jaga” is a Malay verb and a Singaporean slang for “to guard,” the campaign uses elements of situational comedy such as a comic storyline, theatrical portrayal, and bright settings to pique interest in a rather technical and serious matter.

It comprises a series of short films, each playing out a telco-related ruse that has snared many an unsuspecting victim, driving home the message that everyone needs to do their part and stay watchful to avoid falling prey to scams. 

Scammers are casting their net wider than before, where in Singtel, customers have flagged double the number of instances of telco-related scam calls in the year to date compared to the same period last year. 

In a common variant known as “tech support” scams, featured in one of the films called “This is tech support calling,” a fraudster masquerades as Singtel’s technical support, convincing the victim that her IP address has been hacked. 

Fooled by the urgency of the scammer, the victim downloads software that enables remote control of the desktop to solve the problem, and unwittingly hands over internet banking one-time passwords (OTP) when asked. The scammers then make off with the victim’s money.  

It’s unfortunate that on-going scams using the Singtel name or that of other companies have been so pervasive and that many people have become the targets of tricksters impersonating our technicians and customer service officers

Lian Pek, vice president of Group Strategic Communications and Brand at Singtel.

Pek added, “By serving up anti-scam advice and lessons with a dash of humor with the aim of making the messages stick, we hope to foil some of these scammers’ efforts by encouraging Singaporeans to stay vigilant to protect themselves and their families.”

Featuring local actors Pamela Oei and Shane Mardjuki who take on different personalities of varying ages in each scam scenario, the films are designed to engage viewers of all generations and demonstrate how anyone, regardless of age or gender, is vulnerable. 

Pek said the current campaign builds on the company’s ongoing efforts to mitigate scams such as issuing regular scam advisories and implementing a proprietary fraud management system that uses analytics to block scam calls.

Since April this year, the company has also worked with the government to add a “+” prefix to international incoming calls spoofed to look like local numbers, making scam calls easier to identify.

Gerald Singham, the chairman of National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), commented, “To prevent these crimes, public awareness is the first line of defense, and I’m heartened that Singtel has taken the initiative to support NCPC in our fight against scams by educating people with these light-hearted but effective videos.”

Conceptualized by Singtel’s brand team and produced in collaboration with Akanga Films, the campaign will run from 20 November to 17 December 2020. 

The first two films in the series have already been released on the telco’s pay television service Singtel TV and its various social media channels, while the third one is slated for 25 November. 

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