Man holding board with scam alert written on it.

SINGAPORE: The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) is looking for a new ally in the fight against scams: an anti-scam mascot.

The Straits Times reports that ABS is searching for a visual ambassador to urge bank customers to “STOP and CHECK before clicking.”

The anti-scam mascot design competition was launched on April 16. The winning design will receive S$10,000, with S$3,000 and S$2,000 available for the second and third places.

Mrs Ong-Ang Ai Boon, ABS director, stressed that they’re not just after a cute mascot.

She said, “It is a call to action for creative minds of all ages to participate in the ongoing, whole-of-society anti-scam effort by creating a powerful visual reminder that inspires families to take charge and act against being scammed.”

ABS is adamant that this mascot needs to be a fixture in households, keeping the anti-scam message at the forefront of everyone’s minds, from children to adults and the elderly.

One of the judges, Ms Karen Ngui from DBS Bank, highlighted the versatility of scam tactics, often preying on fear or greed. But, she reminded, “We are not powerless, we can do something about scams.”

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The statistics tell a compelling story. In 2023, Singapore saw 46,563 reported scam cases, the highest since records began in 2016. That’s a nearly 47% increase from the previous year, with losses soaring to S$573.9 million among the top 10 scams.

Another judge from the National Crime Prevention Council, Mr Ng Khee Jin, emphasised the evolving nature of scams, a global issue that keeps changing shape. Yet, he underscored the importance of awareness and education in combating them.

He said, “There’s no foolproof way right now to stop scams because there are so many forms and they keep changing. We have to do what we can.”

ABS and its member banks aren’t stopping at a mascot; they plan to deploy it across various anti-scam initiatives, from animations to digital content, marketing materials, and costumed characters at events like roadshows and school skits.

Who can join the anti-scam mascot design competition?

The competition is open to all Singapore citizens, permanent residents, and even work permit holders.

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Better get cracking—the deadline for entries is May 31. Winners will receive notification of the results by June 17 and be invited to claim their prize at the ABS Annual Dinner on June 28.

For the complete requirements and guidelines on the competition, check here.

Check the official entry form here. /TISG

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