'Jaga your data,' says Singtel in anti-scam educational campaign

Scams have become commonplace in today's digital world and Singtel wants to stem the rising tide of scams with its latest awareness campaign titled "Jaga your data" (Guard your data). The educational campaign features three light-hearted 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.

In the films, local actors Pamela Oei and Shane Mardjuki 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. Infused with quintessential Singaporean humour, the films aim to persuade audiences that recognising telltale signs of a scam is half the battle won.

One of the most common scams today is the tech support scam, which is featured in one of the films titled "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 scammer's urgency, the victim downloads a software that enables remote control of the desktop to solve the problem, and unknowingly hands over internet banking one-time passwords when asked. The scammers then drain the victim's bank account.

Conceptualised by Singtel’s brand team and produced in collaboration with Akanga Films, the campaign will run until 17 December 2020. "This is tech support calling" will run on Singtel TV and various social media channels, while the next two films "Robocall" and "Fast cash anyone?" will launch on 23 and 25 November respectively.

According to the telco, Singtel customers have flagged double the number of instances of telco-related scam calls in the year to date, compared to the same period in 2019. VP of group strategic communications and brand, Lian Pek, said by serving up anti-scam advice and lessons with a dash of humour, Singtel hopes to foil some of the scammers' efforts by encouraging Singaporeans to stay vigilant to protect themselves and their families.

"The campaign builds on our ongonig 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," she added. Since April this year, the telco 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.

Separately, Singtel is currently in the midst of a media pitch handled by R3 and just last month, it appointed Yuen Kuan Moon its CEO to replace Chua Sock Koong. He was previously the chief digital officer.

Meanwhile, scams are also prevalent in the eCommerce industry. In August, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) received at least 1,000 reports of social media impersonation scams where victims were tricked into disclosing their credit card information and one-time password in the first five months of 2020. In May, SPF also reported at least SG$41.3 million was lost to scammers in the first three months this year. Among the cases reported, eCommerce scams ranked first with 1,159 cases, which was 116.2% increase when compared to the same period in 2019.

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