SINGAPORE — Singtel launched a scam awareness campaign on Friday (20 November) to educate the public on how to recognise telco-related scams.
This comes in light of a rising tide of such crimes in the country, with the local telco saying that its customers had flagged double the number of instances of such scam calls in the year to date, compared to the same period last year.
The campaign, titled “Jaga your data!” (jaga is a Malay word for “guard”), the campaign comprises a series of three short films, each playing out a telco-related ruse. The films aim to drive home the message that everyone needs stay watchful to avoid falling prey to scams.
Featuring local actors Pamela Oei and Shane Mardjuki, both of whom take on different personalities of varying ages in each scam scenario, the short films are infused with humour to persuade audiences that recognising tell-tale signs of a scam is half the battle won.
“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 Singtel’s Group Strategic Communications and Brand, said in a media release on Friday.
“By serving up anti-scam advice and lessons with a dash of humour 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.”
Efforts to mitigate scams
Pek added in the media release that the campaign builds on Singtel’s efforts to mitigate scams, such as issuing regular scam advisories warning the public of the latest scam-call variants, and implementing a proprietary-fraud management system that uses analytics to block scam calls.
Since April this year, Singtel has worked with the government to add a “+” prefix to international incoming calls spoofed to look like local numbers, making scam calls easier to identify.
“In anticipation that scammers plan to go into overdrive to take advantage of the more relaxed sentiment during the upcoming festive season, the campaign also serves as a timely reminder to consumers not to let their guard down,” Pek said.
Gerald Singham, chairman of National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) reiterated that public awareness is the first line of defence to prevent scam-related crimes.
“In telco-related scams, perpetrators typically position themselves as experts, citing activities like ‘hacking’ or fintech trends like ‘bitcoin’ transactions, which is why they’re so successful in scaring trusting members of the public into giving up their data,” he said.
Singtel’s campaign will run until 17 December, with the first film, “This is tech support calling’, already out on Singtel TV and various social media channels. The next two shorts, “Robocall” and “Fast cash anyone?”, are slated to launch next Monday and Wednesday respectively.
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