Losses of over RM350mil prevented after more than 3,000 scams disrupted by S’pore police, banks

Anti-Scam Centre officers working together with six partnering banks during the two-month-long operation. — Photo: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE/ST/ANN

SINGAPORE: Police and banks disrupted more than 3,000 ongoing scams to help prevent losses of over S$100mil (RM350.47mil) in a two-month-long operation, the police said in a statement on May 7.

The police’s Anti-Scam Centre partnered with six banks – DBS Bank, UOB, OCBC Bank, HSBC, GXS and Standard Chartered Bank – to use robotic process automation to identify victims of scams, including job, e-commerce and investment scams.

Robotic process automation allows police to automate information sharing and processing, as well as the mass distribution of SMS alerts, police said.

From March 1 to April 30, the police and banks sent more than 16,700 SMSes to over 12,500 bank customers to warn them about being scammed. They disrupted more than 3,000 scams and averted losses of more than S$100mil (RM350.47mil).

Victims were alerted to the scams and advised to halt any additional transfers via SMS, police said.

Most of the victims would realise they had fallen prey to scams after receiving the messages and would lodge police reports, they added.

The police urged people to set up security features such as the ScamShield phone app and two-factor authentication for personal accounts such as bank, social media and Singpass accounts.

Bank account holders should set transaction limits for Internet banking, including PayNow, which can limit the amount of money that scammers can steal.

To check for potential signs of a scam, people should ask questions, fact-check requests for personal information and money transfers, and verify the legitimacy of online listings and reviews. If an offer is too good to be true, it is probably a scam, the police said.

Scam encounters should be reported to the affected bank, ScamShield or the police. Others should be warned about ongoing scams and told how to avoid falling for them. – The Straits Times (Singapore)/Asia News Network

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