The Anti-Scam Centre (ASC) of the Singapore Police Force, in collaboration with six partnering banks, have leveraged Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology to identify job, investment and other scam victims and alerting them promptly through SMS alerts to prevent further financial losses. The partnering banks are DBS Bank, UOB Bank, OCBC Bank, HSBC Bank, SC Bank and GXS Bank.
During the month-long joint operation conducted between 15 August 2023 and 15 September 2023, the Police and its partnering banks sent out more than 5,000 SMSes to over 4,000 scam victims who are customers of the banks. This resulted in the successful disruption of more than 800 ongoing scam cases and averted potential financial losses of more than $17.1 million. More than 600 PayNow numbers were also blacklisted, averting potential financial losses of $70,000 through information sharing.
The joint operation is part of the continued efforts by the Police and its partnering banks to safeguard bank customers and mitigate victims’ losses through innovation. RPA technology has enabled the Police to automate information sharing, information processing, and the mass distribution of SMS alerts. The collaboration between the Police and its partnering banks has also significantly improve their outreach to promptly alert a larger number of victims within a short period of time and prevent further losses. Many of these victims only realised that they had fallen prey to scams after receiving SMS alerts from the Police, advising them to immediately cease further monetary transfers.
The success of the RPA technology also enabled the Police in disseminating crucial information concerning compromised PayNow numbers with its partnering banks. With the information, the banks were able to address the compromised PayNow numbers swiftly by leveraging their distinct technical capabilities and resources. This collaborative initiative was a direct and proactive response to address the alarming escalation of PayNow abuse.
ACT Against Scams
The Police urge members of the public to “ACT” against scams. The ACT acronym outlines how members of the public can Add security features, Check for signs, and Tell the authorities and other about scams.
- ADD – Add security features such as the ScamShield application and two-factor authentication for personal accounts, such as banks, social media, and Singpass accounts. Transaction limits for internet banking, including PayNow, could also be set up to limit the amount of funds that can be lost in the event of a scam.
- CHECK – Check for potential signs of a scam by asking questions, fact-checking requests for personal information and money transfers, and verifying the legitimacy of online listings and reviews. Take the time to pause and check. If it is too good to be true, it is probably untrue, and a scam.
- TELL – Tell the authorities and others about scam encounters by reporting to the bank, ScamShield, or by filing a Police report. Tell others about ongoing scams and preventive steps they can take. Report the fraudulent pages and/or monikers to the respective platforms.
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688. Anyone with information on such scams may call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
Officers from the Anti-Scam Centre working together with the six banks during the month-long joint operation ▼
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
20 September 2023 @ 11:10 AM