New jobs and training opportunities emerge in fight against scams

(From left) IJooz CSO Grace Bao, CEO Bruce Zhang and Product Manager Ming Ma. The company set up a new risk management team last year to handle fraud cases. ST PHOTO: THADDEUS ANG

SINGAPORE - Several employers have created new positions or teams specifically to deal with the scourge of scams.

New modules and courses are also being offered at some institutes of higher learning as knowledge of scam awareness and prevention becomes more important.

Orange juice vending machine operator iJooz, for example, set up a new risk management team in November last year to handle fraud cases.

It is planning to hire at least 10 more people in roles such as software engineers and accountants this year as the firm expands, said its chief security officer Grace Bao.

Logistics firm Ninja Van Singapore’s chief operating officer, Mr Lee Ghim Hock, said the company doubled the number of people in its cross-border team since the start of the pandemic to 10.

The team coordinates cases from the customer service and recovery teams, expedites refunds and works with freight forwarding companies to identify and blacklist people or organisations that ship fraudulent parcels.

DBS Bank is also tripling the number of employees on its anti-scam team to a double-digit figure by this year, compared with 2019, said its group head of investigations Elvin Lim.

Meanwhile, recruitment firm Michael Page is seeing growing demand for cyber-security positions such as security operations manager and IT risk manager.

Salaries for these roles can range from $10,000 to $12,000 a month, said Michael Page Singapore recruiter Isha Hussain.

"Social engineering attacks have become common as attackers are relying on human vulnerabilities. One of the ways organisations can combat this is through security awareness training," she added.

Some institutes of higher learning are stepping up training options as it becomes increasingly important for workers to know about scams and how to avoid them.

Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) will be rolling out compulsory modules on digital literacy, such as on digital safety - including cyber security, phishing and spam - ethics and data management.

All students of SIT-conferred and SIT joint degree programmes in the next academic year beginning in September must take these modules.

A pilot run is taking place this year, said Associate Professor Steven Wong, director of SIT's Centre for Digital Enablement.

Similarly, Nanyang Technological University has made it compulsory from the current academic year for all its undergraduate students to take a digital literacy course, which exposes them to issues such as the rise of fake news and scams, said its deputy provost for education, Professor Tan Ooi Kiang.

Singapore Management University launched a new elective in January called Fraud Protection for Entrepreneurs, which is designed to educate students interested in entrepreneurship about the risks of fraud.

It also introduced the topic of SMS phishing scams this year into the curriculum of a cyber-security-related course for business professionals, said an SMU spokesman.

He added that as fraud cases and scams surge over the years and become increasingly sophisticated in nature, building awareness through training and education is key to preventing fraud and protecting individuals, employees and organisations.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.