ST launches Stop Scams microsite, featuring stories that include first-hand accounts of victims

Stop Scams is an initiative to educate the public on how to spot scams and avoid being duped. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Straits Times launched its Stop Scams microsite on Thursday (May 19), which features stories on scams including first-hand accounts by victims, trends in scams, how international syndicates operate, and advice by experts on what to do if one has lost money to scammers.

Stop Scams is an initiative started by ST in January this year to educate the public on how to spot scams and avoid being duped.

The microsite launch coincides with the inaugural Digital for Life Festival, which is organised by the Infocomm Media Development Authority. The festival starts this Saturday and ends on May 29.

Since 2016, more than $1 billion has been lost to scams.

Last year, victims lost at least $633.3 million to scammers, said the police in February.

From online gaming scams to cryptocurrency-related investment ones, Singaporeans of all ages are vulnerable to scams.

The impact of scams on victims goes beyond financial losses, with psychologists and counsellors saying that victims can be scarred psychologically and emotionally.

When children fall prey to scams, experts said parents must be mindful not to constantly reproach them over the incidents and cause them further distress.

For adult victims, some might refuse to believe they had been tricked, while others might develop suicidal thoughts after losing their life savings.

Besides the microsite, ST has also been hosting Stop Scams podcasts, with experts such as officers from the police's Anti-Scam Centre discussing the challenges behind recovering money lost to scammers.

An OCBC Bank representative was also on one of the shows to reveal how the bank spots a potential scam victim and how it helps customers who have been duped.

For more details, visit the Stop Scams microsite here.

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