Singapore – More than four in five, or 84%, of Singaporeans said banks and financial institutions are liable to scam losses to a great extent, data from YouGov showed.

The data from YouGov’s survey revealed that nearly half of Singaporeans claim they receive scam texts, calls, or messages on a weekly basis (48%). Meanwhile, one in seven receives such communication daily (14%), and the rest receive it monthly (19%), every few months (10%), or longer than that (3%).

Interestingly enough, men (52%) are more likely to receive scam texts, calls, or messages than women (44%) on a weekly basis. And among generations, GenX feels the most targeted, with more than half of them (52%) saying they receive such communication on a weekly basis.

The data also revealed that among the different types of scams, online shopping or classified scams have been the most common at 15%. This type of scam is where people receive fake items or do not receive items at all. This is closely followed by job scams at 14%.

Not far from the previous numbers, 13%, or at least one in ten Singaporeans, have also been victims of investment scams, which is the same percentage as the victims of bank or card phishing scams. Aside from these, 9% have been victims of loan scams and social media phishing scams, and 53%, or more than half, have never been victims of any scams.

Among these various types of scams, a worrying number half of Gen Z have already been victims of a scam, with bank or card phishing scams being the most common type (15%). This is followed by investment scams and social media phishing scams (14% and 13%, respectively).

Meanwhile, job and employment scams top the list for millennials (16%), followed by online shopping scams (15%) and investment scams (14%). And for GenX, online shopping scams have been the most common (19%), followed by job scams (15%) and investment scams (14%).

Looking at the victims, one in seven (14%) admitted to losing money, and three in ten (30%) haven’t experienced it but personally know someone who lost money due to a scam. On the other hand, half (50%) have neither been victims themselves nor know anyone who has been scammed for money.

With the concerning issue of scamming and loss of money due to a certain scam, the data from YouGov revealed that Singaporeans hold banks and financial institutions most accountable for bearing scam losses, with 84%, or more than four in five respondents, saying they are liable to some or to a great extent.

After banks, 77%, or three-quarters, believe that bearing losses lies with the consumer, while 76% each for telcos and the government.

To protect themselves from scams, three-quarters of Singapore residents ignore or block unknown emails and phone numbers (75%). Other than this, 69% do not share personal details or financial information with anyone, 64% avoid downloading software and mobile apps from unknown sources, 61% won’t transfer money to anyone they haven’t met, and 61% verify numbers and emails before taking any action to prevent any financial fraud.

It is also worth noting that older generations, such as Gen X and Baby Boomers, are more likely to take countermeasures against scams than Gen Z and millennials.

YouGov’s survey comes after the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) proposed a Shared Responsibility Framework (SRF) for phishing scams in Singapore. This newly proposed framework requires financial institutions and telecommunication companies to share the responsibility for scam losses should they fail to discharge prescribed duties.

The survey data showed that most Singaporeans view the framework positively and believe it will be effective in strengthening the accountability of all the parties involved in mitigating scams, especially banks and financial institutions (78%). Meanwhile, seven in ten expect telcos to become more responsible due to this development (70%), and nearly two-thirds think it will make consumers more accountable (64%).

Singapore – YouTube has announced its collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Singapore and local YouTube creator, Naomi Neo, to create a video to raise awareness around scams. 

This was revealed at the second edition of the YouTube Creators for Impact programme with the MHA, showcasing a series of anti-scam videos developed by local YouTube creators to raise consumer awareness around scam prevention.

Launched in July 2023 in partnership with MHA, this year’s Creators for Impact is dedicated to tackling the pertinent topic of scams in Singapore, working with 12 local creator channels over two months to develop videos to help people enhance their awareness and vigilance around scams. 

As part of Creators for Impact, YouTube and MHA also launched an open call to the wider local YouTube creator community to invite more video ideas that further educate and engage Singaporeans on online scam awareness.

The total submissions showcased the creativity of our local creators in using their voices to tackle the issue of scams – such as a role play that displays different scam scenarios, an anti-scam jingle, debunking scam myths, and interviews with everyday Singaporeans on their thoughts around the issue.

Regarding the video to be produced, creator Naomi Neo’s idea of using comedy to highlight every individual’s vulnerability to scams was selected for its ability to convey educational messages in an entertaining way. Production will begin immediately and viewers can look forward to the video release by the end of the year on her channel.

Ajay Vidyasagar, managing director for YouTube Southeast Asia and Emerging Markets said, “Our creators know best that knowledge is key to combating online scams, and through their strong responses to the program, we continue to be inspired by their creativity and commitment to impart important know-hows in engaging ways.” 

“This is testament to the resolve of our local creator community to use their voice for good through storytelling, and we hope more will join this effort to build a more secure digital world for all Singaporeans,” he added. 

Meanwhile, Sun Xueling, minister of state, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Social and Family Development, said, “I am heartened to see our content creators stepping up to this important task of engaging different segments of the population to amplify anti-scam messages within their communities. This partnership underscores our unwavering commitment to combat scams, through cultivating a vigilant and discerning public capable of ACT-ing against it.”

Manila, Philippines – E-commerce platform Shopee in the Philippines has recently launched Shopee Cares PH, an online community platform where Shopee provides customer education and support to combat the rising number of online scams.

The goal of the platform is to empower consumers with proper know-hows and tips on how they can protect themselves from phishing scams, money and gift card scams, and third party seller scams.

With Shopee Cares PH, users are also encouraged to seek help for any product inquiry or concern, and inspire other users through their memorable Shopee finds and experiences. Sale tips and tricks are also provided to ensure online shopping is made enjoyable with exclusive deals and promos. 

Martin Yu, director at Shopee Philippines, said, “Shopee has always been committed to ensuring that every Filipino’s online shopping experience is safe and reliable, and Shopee Cares is a testament to that. Through this platform, we aim to equip them with knowledge on how to shop safely and combat these online scams together so that they can continuously enjoy shopping online.”

He added, “As more Filipinos rely on e-commerce, we continuously ensure that measures are in place to make their experience with Shopee more secure. What we want is for our shoppers to continue enjoying the benefits of online shopping, as this has become an essential part of their daily lives.”

Hong Kong – As the rise of scam messages from fraudulent entities begin to overwhelm consumers, users in the Asia-Pacific region now have their trust with brands slowly erode once brands get entangled in any form of scam messages, the latest survey from digital trust company Callsign shows.

According to their latest insights, around 52% of APAC users lose trust with the brands they are loyal to once a scam message sent to them claims to be associated with their favorite brand, regardless of any real association to the message itself or its actual content.

Such loss of brand confidence also unveils a reason that 28% of APAC users state that they receive more scam messages than personal messages from friends and family. On a global scale, the insights puts out the ratio of people receiving scam messages at around 4 out of 5 people.

As 51% of APAC respondents admit that they have fallen victim at some point in their lives to these SMS fraud or scam messages, 29% of the respondents say that they have stopped using the brand mentioned or allegedly associated with the fraud message.

“The problem has become so pervasive that consumers mistrust the technology, processes designed to protect them from fraudsters and confirm identities with many adamant that users must prove beyond doubt who they are when logging in to use a platform, and that there should be an online identity system to quell the surge of scams,” Callsign said in a press statement.

With these issues in mind, 45% of APAC respondents say they think identity is the problem and that people should prove who they are when signing into any platform, which includes authentication measures like two-factor authentication (2FA) and third-party app authenticators.

For Stuart Dobbie, senior vice president for innovation at Callsign, the insights shows that consumer trust in our digital world has vanished and, rightly or wrongly brands, are being blamed. He added despite all these sentiments,little is being actually done to purposely re-establish digital trust through complete and accurate digital identities.

He further explained that with consumers feeling the brunt of perceived inaction by organizations, it is no surprise that they are asking for more protection, and that if we continue to be unable to know and trust that the person is who they say they are online, large parts of society will stop working.

“Digital trust is about the confidence we have in the technology, processes, and people to secure our digital world. Digital trust is underpinned by digital identities, and the fact that scams are running wild proves that our digital identities are well and truly broken. It’s time to re-think fraud prevention strategies, identifying genuine users through their behaviors will allow us to identify users online and re-establish digital trust,” Dobbie added.

Meanwhile, Namrata Jolly, general manager for Asia-Pacific at Callsign, commented, “The solution lies in re-thinking how we fight fraud and how we identify people online. Current approaches tackle both challenges by only identifying fraud. The problem with this approach is that a fraudster using stolen credentials looks like a genuine user gaining access to accounts or executing transactions. If instead fraud strategies look to positively identify only genuine users, this automatically and simultaneously prevents fraud.”

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.