The Anti-Scam Centre (ASC) of the Singapore Police Force, in collaboration with four partnering banks, have leveraged Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology to identify job, investment and other scam victims. Employing a proactive approach, the ASC promptly alerts potential scam victims through SMS notifications, mitigating the risk of further financial losses. The partnering banks are DBS Bank, UOB Bank, OCBC Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.
Throughout the collaborative operation conducted between 16 September and 31 December 2023, the Police and its partnering banks sent out more than 48,000 SMSes to over 15,000 scam victims who are customers of the banks. This resulted in the successful disruption of over 5,300 ongoing scams and prevented potential financial losses of more than $69.43 million.
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 improved 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.
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.
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
09 January 2024 @ 1:15 PM