by Growing Needs | Nov 6, 2023 | Digital & Technology, Services
In Singapore, there has been an alarming increase of scam cases targeting vulnerable groups like seniors for their money, either through their digital applications or physically asking them to give their personal particulars. To educate our seniors on how to prevent themselves from falling into these traps, read on to find out.
1. Use Scam Alert
Scam Alert is an initiative that helps educate Singaporeans about scams and is a one-stop informational website to inform Singaporeans about the different forms of scam that are prevalent in our society. If you suspect that you’ve been scammed or are involved in a scam, call their anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-668 for urgent help if you believe you are being scammed.
2. Encourage Seniors To Download ScamShield
In Singapore, the most common method that scammers would retrieve senior’s information is through Short Message Services (SMSes) or phone calls. With the advancement in technologies, scammers could imitate government personnel or bank administrators to scam seniors into giving their personal particulars. To prevent this, seniors can download ScamShield, which is a smartphone application. It will detect scam messages and calls and alert seniors to not respond to them.
ScamShield actively works in the phone’s background to filter scam messages and calls from numbers that are used in illegal activities. Furthermore, ScamShield compares an incoming call against a list maintained by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) to determine if the number has been used for illegal purposes and blocks it. This way, seniors would be protected by scams calls before being able to answer them. ScamShield will also determine if an SMS received by an unknown number is a scam using an on-device algorithm, and filter the messages to a junk SMS folder. Scam SMSes will be sent to National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and SPF for collation.This keeps the app updated and will help protect others from such scam calls and messages.
3. Equip Seniors With Anti-Scam Courses
Seniors can educate themselves on how to identify and mitigate a scammer by learning about scams through courses. In Singapore, Lion Befrienders has collaborated with global technology firm NTT to provide digital literacy training to seniors, targeted at helping them identify common ruses and to stay safe online. The trainers will keep seniors on their feet and help them to be vigilant by conducting quizzes and group activities to help them identify common scams and red flags online. Seniors will also be able to learn how to best keep their digital devices safe, call the anti-scam hotline or seek advice from NTT and Lions Befrienders volunteers in case they come across a suspected scam.
4. Check For Scam Signs With Official Sources
Check scam signs and trends with legitimate sources (e.g. Singapore Police Force, Scam Alert, Cyber Security Agency of Singapore & National Crime Prevention Council online channels). Learn more about how to spot a scam here. If you have any doubts or suspicions about a potential scam, seek a second opinion from a trusted source. For example, you can contact the NCPC’s anti-scam hotline at 1800-722-6688 or check this website for more information.
In conclusion, safeguarding our senior citizens from falling victim to scams is a collective responsibility, and there are several crucial steps that both seniors and their families can take. Together, we can protect our beloved seniors from financial harm and emotional distress.
Growing Needs grew out of our own encounters with caring for our aging parents and reflecting on the Growing Needs that we ourselves would face as we advance in years. We hope to build a community that will learn, share and contribute towards caring for the growing needs of our loved ones.