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Josephine Teo suggests Singapore among top countries for scam amounts due to high reporting levels by victims

MCI Minister Josephine Teo attributes Singapore’s high ranking in global scam losses to victim’s high reporting levels and the reluctance of victims globally to report incidents to a lack of confidence in authorities, leading to widespread under-reporting in many regions.

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On Wednesday (10 Jan), the Singapore Parliament held a seven-hour session discussing the importance of a safe digital space.

Members of Parliament from the People’s Action Party (PAP) proposed a motion titled “Building An Inclusive And Safe Digital Society.” The motion emphasized the need for a comprehensive, national approach to maintaining trust and safety in the digital realm.

It included 13 recommendations aimed at enhancing the security of online transactions, detecting deepfakes and scams, and educating society on safe digital participation.

In response to the discussion, Singapore’s Minister for Communication and Information, Josephine Teo, announced the introduction of new app guidelines.

These guidelines, known as the Safe App Standard, are designed to aid app developers in incorporating robust security features. Minister Teo explained that these best practices, including additional user authentication and malware detection, are initially voluntary but may become mandatory based on their effectiveness.

Additionally, guidelines have been issued to help telecommunications companies protect consumers, particularly those vulnerable to scams. This includes training frontline staff to identify and assist at-risk consumers and encouraging telcos to waive charges for scam victims.

Moreover, the Ministry of Communication and Information (MCI), in collaboration with A*STAR, is launching a centre to enhance internet safety. This initiative will focus on developing tools and strategies to identify harmful content, such as deepfakes and false claims, and assist vulnerable groups in verifying online information. The research conducted by the centre will also contribute to new legislation or regulations, particularly concerning deepfakes.

Minister Teo also highlighted Singapore’s reputation as a leader in combating scams in her address to Parliament, with its innovative initiatives drawing international admiration. She stressed that these initiatives, often seen as groundbreaking and at the forefront of technology, have set a standard in the global community.

Ms Teo highlighted various measures taken by Singapore to combat scams effectively and substantially reduce losses.

These include widespread call blocking, the Singapore SMS Sender ID Registry (SSIR), kill switches employed by banks, and the CPF Board’s online withdrawal limit.

She also addressed inquiries regarding rankings that positioned Singapore as one of the top places in terms of the considerable losses incurred by victims.

A collaborative study by the Global Anti-Scam Alliance (Gasa) and ScamAdviser revealed that scammers globally accrued an estimated US$1.02 trillion from August 2022 to August 2023, with Singapore recording the highest average losses among victims.

While acknowledging Singapore’s leading position in terms of scam amounts, she emphasised a common reluctance among victims globally to report such incidents.

I can only say this: in many places scammed victims are not going to take the trouble to report the fact that they have been scammed.

She claims this reluctance often stems from a lack of confidence in the authorities’ ability to effectively tackle these issues, leading to widespread underreporting in many regions.

However, Ms Teo noted that Singapore contrasts sharply with this trend, boasting particularly high reporting levels.

“This is of course not to trivialize the amounts loss, but I think we have to recognize that fact.”

Highlighting the significant amounts lost to scams, Teo emphasized the importance of recognizing the high level of public engagement in Singapore.

She commended the public’s responsiveness to educational efforts on scams while acknowledging the anxiety that constant exposure to scam-related information can induce.

Ms Teo emphasized that this heightened awareness plays a critical role in Singapore’s comprehensive strategy against scams.

“This gives a certain sense of anxiety. But it is an essential part of our overall scam defence which we cannot avoid, and which we aim to fortify through a variety of means.”

Addressing what more can be done, she told the House to acknowledge that no country has discovered a silver bullet when it comes to combating scams.

 She pointed out the absence of a single, definitive solution to completely eradicate scams, describing it as a “wicked problem” in both the cyber and scam domains.

“In cyber, as well as in scams, you solve one problem, the bad actors are driven somewhere else, and you have to start again.”

“Therefore, an agile approach is critical. A very good example is how we had to very quickly pivot to dealing with malware-enabled scams, which had not been conceived of before.”

“It’s very easy to see we should have anticipated it, not so easy in reality, ” she added.


In the later part of her speech, Ms Teo challenged the “crisis of confidence” remarks made by MPs from the Workers’ Party. She made an analogy of bystanders watching firefighters put out a fire, “pontificating” and telling the firefighters what they should do.

WP Chairman Sylvia Lim, MP for Aljuned GRC, in her speech for the motion, voiced her concerns about the crisis of public confidence over digital transactions in a motion debated in the Singapore Parliament.

She pointed out that even previously trusted savings avenues, like CPF funds and fixed deposits, are now vulnerable to scams and malware, contributing to this crisis of trust.

Following Mrs Teo’s address, Ms Lim stood to address her allegation, emphasising that her speech did not intend to politicize the issue or to create panic, but rather, she intended to reflect what she saw as the current sentiment of significant sections of the public.

She further laid out reasons to reflect on the public sentiment on declining trust toward online space.

She cited the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)’s statistics showing that 99% of persons aged 60 and above are worried about becoming scam victims.

Ms Lim also highlighted feedback from members of the public who expressed a desire to take their accounts offline, and the establishment of a Task Force on the resilience and security of Digital Infrastructure and services, in which she believed that its purpose was actually to oversee matters of public confidence.

“I would argue that there is a serious issue with public confidence, and I think it is borne out by these factors that I’ve mentioned, ” nevertheless, Ms Lim acknowledged the work done by the agencies is a big task and a 24/7 effort.

In her response, Ms Teo did not address the point about the 99% statistics but instead went on to say, ‘Whatever is posted on social media should benefit people who are not able to take part in this discussion. I hope that messages being put out by MPs don’t simply use very sensational or glaring headlines.’

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I guess … she must be proud of such achievement!

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— The 💯Inside®️ Job

The day (or minute, even moment)
the Big Three

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de-indianize their operations, viz. reduce their payroll unsustainably overstaffed by ampuneh, kelinga, bun+curry content of compatriots/kinfolk/tribesmen, what-(the-F-)have-yew’s from Asia’s dark subcontinent,

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The day (or minute, even moment)
the Big Three
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de-indianize their operations, viz. reduce their payroll unsustainably overstaffed by ampuneh, kelinga, bun+curry content of compatriots/kinfolk/tribesmen, what-(the-F-)have-yew’s from Asia’s dark subcontinent,

will be the day the 8️⃣9️⃣6️⃣5️⃣Leepharkbrick of Stinkypoora comes out of the scam-dom curse, everyone reading this can be assured. Or, as the ‘saying’ goes: you get your money back.

And the sooner, the better🤝🏻tank yew harry mark😙
Oh, JOHN, LUKE, MAT🖕🏻乜都屌🖕🏻THEW, too🤗

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… 🫢r was it harry🥶🦣🦪😋lubia

THE INDO🤧👳🏾‍♂️😷STINYPOORA CONNECTION
(N😏) MONEY BACK(,) GUARANTEE(D, FOR SURE😒)

The day (or minute, even moment)
the Big Three – namely, 🏚DeBtS💸, 👂🏻💩耳屎OCBC鼻屎👃🏻💩 & 大滑🏦📉yoUOBiang –
de-indianize their operations, viz. reduce their payroll unsustainably overstaffed by ampuneh, kelinga, bun+curry content of compatriots/kinfolk/tribesmen, what-(the-F-)have-yew’s from Asia’s dark subcontinent,
will be the day the 8️⃣9️⃣6️⃣5️⃣Leepharkbrick of Stinkypoora comes out of the scam-dom curse, everyone reading this can be assured. Or, as the ‘saying’ goes: you get your money back.

And the sooner, the better🤝🏻tank yew harry mark😙
Oh, JOHN, LUKE, MAT🖕🏻乜都屌🖕🏻THEW, too🤗

😇🙌🏾Aye, men🤚🏾💥✋🏽😈
Ali👲🏾Loo🚽Ja‼️

… 🫢r was it harry🥶🦣🦪😋lubia

$#%$ pea brain inbred idiot. She is the liar and scammer. The fact is undeniable regardless of reporting, The number of scams is SUPER HIGH. Even govt database is also so insecure.

Jo teo produced no evidence, no empirical data, no grounds for claiming under reporting or over reporting. She is clearly lying thru her gap. And look at her nose growing longer and longer!

Please respect opposition members voted into Parliament hor.

anyone likes saxophone is a little space? tsk tsk tsk

This PAP Administration is just PLAYING ABOUT with Valuable Lives of 6 million Singapreans – very likely PAP’s Motto, Singapreans Can GO TO HE’LL.

And it SURE IS, from the Eff way they and act. While I don’t have much curse on the way they talk and act WHICH IS WHAT many DIRTY politicians in Singland DO, BUT NOT TO TRICK Sheegaporeans into paying them Millions Salaries.

Last edited 5 months ago by 80twenty

lol her solution is see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil? deport to commie china pls.

Talk so much for what, ms bimbo for miscommunication and misinformation? Just do your job to solve the tough problem which you are paid many millions for. Lee Kuan Lee said if you can’t do the job, fire you and replace you with someone better equipped to do the real problem solving. What will the 13 recommendations do to solve the problem on your lap? That’s only 1 recommendation and 1 solution: fire the incompetent jo teo and replace this bimbo sex in a small place with someone more emotionally and intellectually more intelligent than this brainless bimbo.

Time and again, our million$ ministers seems to show that there is really no cure for their Stupidity.

“Minister Teo also highlighted Singapore’s reputation as a leader in combating scams in her address to Parliament, with its innovative initiatives drawing international admiration. She stressed that these initiatives, often seen as groundbreaking and at the forefront of technology, have set a standard in the global community” Comment: yup..our innovative initiatives are the envy of the rest of the world. With these innovative initiatives, we have achieved the accolade of being the most scammed country in the world. Congratulations to us!!!! I have a brilliant idea for JT. If she saw the movie Independence Day starring Will Smith, she would… Read more »

Following this dumbass jo teo sex in a small place logic, the low crime rate in Singapore DESPITE the wide open leg mass immigration of millions of foreigners is also due to “under reporting” too. Why yes of course, under reporting crime rate in Singapore gives pap the undeserving pat (themselves) in the back.

Being scam, dun report then something is WRONG. High reporting becos High amount and incidents. Talk nonsense … Dun want to secure the process then step down and let other ppl do it.

I am not into your singularity cult of EO dun need to switch here and there!

As usual its always reactive not proactive. What do you think?. tsk tsk tsk

Sylvia Lim is voted by Singaporeans to be our Member of Parliament.

JT=Does it mean SL cannot provide her opinions? tsk tsk tsk .What do you think?

Yes, usually they are the oppies who deliberately make reports even if they lost $0.10. Cause they want to make our government look bad.

Who is her leader.
And who appraise her Ministership.
Seems they FRAUD Sheeps to remain in power.
Suggestions by a Minister is PURE GUTLESS. To dare to be truthful, make categorical statements WITH SOLID supporting statistics and proofs. AND REMOVE COMPARIONS with other CUNtries.
Otherwise, LIARS do the same, NOT law makers of a country.

To observers, it appears their interpretation could be, they are BIG liar at its core, and lying, constant telling of lies, COVER UP OF MISTAKES is like the CORE of its Admin of 6 million Singaprean LIVES for them to survive to HOLD on to their Millions of Dollars of Ownself rewards, and power.

Since her cry incident, still not stepped down. What a honest lady.

Woe to PAP.
More Woe to Sheeps who vote for a KILLER PAP Administration. Political Murderers Get Out of JAIL FREE.
Is this a SG style justice to show the world.

Again, these Millionaire Political Bastards, sweeping their nonsenses under the carpet, REFUSED TO ADMIT their FAILURES, COME TO TERMS WITH THEIR ABJECT NEGLIGENCE is arming Sheeps with the NECESSARY tech and I T skills in an I T/Figural world. The other HOPLESS PAP SHORT COMING is their GODLIKE TRUST in a 3rd world country’s FAKE I T skills. This IRRESPONSIBLE PAP is KILLING SHEEPS EN MASSE. If not what is it. Let’s WIPE the PAP OFF before they HAPPILY wipe Sheeps off. KILL OFF this PAP Administration SWIFTLY and DECISIVELY for the sakes of our CHILDREN and GRAND children’ s… Read more »

Wondering why voters continue to vote for these types of overly paid warped mindset MP and holding an important position in the Ministry?

No wonder SG have to overly dependent on mass foreign imports over the last 20 years to prop up the tepid GDP a.k.a. economy

Jose Teo is a liar.
Look at Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
Does any of their banks outsource our operations to India and Philippines? No, Do they have lots of scam victims?
Under reporting! No. Real reason is you expose your customers accounts’ numbers, your customers Personal contact.
What is missing now is the PIN number.
Once those Indians knows how you operate, good luck to your customers!
Gupta and his gangs are happily collecting money while we live in fear!

No such thing as HIGH REPORTING!

Italy is a HIGH PICKPOCKET PLACE and yet there is NO REPORTING!

I foiled one PICKPOCKET in a bus in Rome trying to zip down a woman’s handbag. I merely tap him on the shoulder. He and his cohorts of about 3/4 persons then got off the bus.

High concentration of Pickpockets, even today…….no reporting? Similarly at NOTRE DAME CHURCH IN FRANCE!

Can we trust the reasonings of someone who had previously reasoned that our low TFR can be mitigated by making babies in small spaces?!?! Also she reasoned that pedestrians and cyclists can “shared” 1.5m wide pathways in harmony (while in spatial designing, a minimum of 1.7-1.8m is necessary, though not desirable to share)? Didn’t we had lots of accidents and even 1-2 pedestrians deaths, leading ultimately to the BANNING of bicycles on pedestrian pathways?

It seems her reasonings are just to cover her own backside, to meet her own KPIs, hor.

All those oredi kena scammed and in the process of being, … in Jln Besar should be mightily and horrifically embarrassed and forever guilt ridden, to have being responsible for putting such an imbecilic idiot in a position, … where she can spout such nonsense and utter crap, and proud of it too !!!

I won’t even bovver to repeat the drivel she’s spouted in parliament, … as it merely highlights the vacuousness and hopelessness of this pathetically out of her depth and in the bloody wrong profession individual !!!

She is ridiculous. A Smart Nation should not be having any scams. She is not considering the scams in itself but the nos. reported to give herself a better report card. She is a failure in every Ministry . Only LHL can hold on to sheer incompetence. His father would have sacked her many moons ago.

“I can only say this: in many places scammed victims are not going to take the trouble to report the fact that they have been scammed.“

So she is suggesting that when there is a scam, we should not report it like many places? OK, in that case we will report her incompetence in tackling the scams happening in the country.

Smart Nation just got OutSmarted.
Is The PAP government going to send assistance to The Houthi Rebels. At least medical assistance????
Hahaha

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