On scam messages: Why Singaporeans must choose shared responsibility
In this modern day, digitalisation is crucial to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of businesses and the market in general. Going to a physical store could soon be a thing of the past. But to make this happen, organisations and customers needed to go digital, which created a new industry for bad actors alike.
On a normal day, these bad actors go to their workplace, put out a new scheme to try and bait victims, and then get the loot out of their negligence. With the number of people not caring if they are safe or not from malicious actors who are lurking and noting their every move, this industry is thriving and is expected to grow even more.
The data from 2021 alone proved that this is true, as the victims in Singapore lost at least $633.3 million that year, which is 2.5 times greater than 2020’s $268.4 million. Without doing anything to raise awareness of this growing industry, the figures are expected to blow up with the ongoing digitalisation move of every business and citizen in Singapore.
The ignored scam message dilemma
Scam messages are avenues for bad actors to get a hold of the victim’s money and personal data. They are carefully crafted baits to lure individuals with promises of wealth or heart-racing concerns tailored to get the attention of those receiving them.
However, a study that was conducted by WhatsApp and 2CV Singapore shows that the majority of individuals do not report scams to the proper authorities as they are too busy to do so. With this, such a problem is left unattended, and more people are still being baited and scammed due to the failure to uphold the so-called shared responsibility in cybersecurity awareness.
This could be attributed to the frequency of scams they receive daily, allowing them to develop a “can’t be bothered” mentality towards such incidents. Instead of worrying that they could lose their savings from bad actors, it’s merely a constant irritation that makes them ignore what they receive.
With this mentality, by not reporting a scam message when they are received, other recipients of such scam messages who are not knowledgeable about the latest scam tactics may become victims of these horrendous scams, such as the elderly.
This is why reporting such scams when you receive one is a shared responsibility that everyone must participate in as it is a great deal that authorities are made aware of these illegal activities so that they can do something about it to protect other citizens. Those who received one must have a sense of urgency to report one, as others could have received it who do not have any idea of what lies ahead.
Some might be skeptical whether reporting one can really help, but this is a risk that everyone must not take for granted as it could affect everyone that is now aware of the greater danger of receiving one.
Scam messages are prevalent due to the fact that they can be easily made on today’s social media platforms like WhatsApp. As the world moves forward into a much more digitised world and considering that this world is fairly fresh, there will be those who cannot keep up with things they need to do to avoid being a victim.
With this said, whenever we receive a scam message in whatever form, it is highly recommended to report it to authorities for proper action and awareness. This might not be for you as you already know what to do when you receive one, but it is for those who are new to the modernities of being connected worldwide.
When you run a business, and your company also uses social media platforms for easy communication, hiring a Data Protection Officer (DPO) is of great help to ensure that your employees will be made aware of these scams and know what to do in case they receive one.
A DPO ensures that there will be policies in place when it comes to engaging other co-workers through these platforms so that your organisation will be protected from employee’s sensitive work accounts being hacked or used against the company.
Understand that employees are the weakest link to an organisation’s cybersecurity, and failure to secure awareness on their part of the dangers of the internet could be the downfall of your business.