DBS/POSB and DBS Foundation ramp up efforts to safeguard the community amid rising threat of scams

Singapore.17 Feb 2024

Over a million customers have used the bank’s security features to bolster their defence against scams, bank aims to double this over next 12 months

The bank has also launched a new anti-scam quiz so people can assess and enhance their scam quotient – aims to avail this quiz to some 30,000 this year

Singapore, 17 Feb 2024 - DBS/POSB and DBS Foundation are doubling down on efforts to safeguard the community from the growing threat of digital scams, and equip more with the know-how and tools to stay safe online. This includes partnering the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) to co-create an anti-scam quiz to keep users on top of the latest scam developments, dialling up public education and outreach efforts, and continually enhancing the bank’s security controls to provide customers with more control over the security of their funds.

This intensified effort is part of a national push to combat scams and fraud, amid the persistence of such cases in Singapore. It builds on the bank’s ongoing anti-scam efforts – a multi-layered approach comprising self-managed security controls, education, fraud surveillance, authentication, assistance and recovery. To date, over a million customers have used the bank’s self-managed security controls to bolster their defence against scams, and the bank aims to double this number over the next 12 months.

Mr Han Kwee Juan, Acting Chief Information Officer and Singapore Country Head, DBS, said: “In today’s dynamic scam environment, digital literacy and anti-scam education go hand in hand. To protect our customers against scams, we want to empower them with the skills and knowledge needed to navigate the digital landscape safely and confidently. This includes keeping them informed of the latest scam developments and equipping them with a robust suite of security tools to protect themselves. We are glad to be working with like-minded partners like IMDA and CSA to intensify our efforts in scaling anti-scam awareness and education in the community. Together, we strive to keep our customers safe as they enjoy the convenience of going digital.”

Equipping all with the know-how to stay on top of scams

As part of efforts to ramp up awareness and readiness against scams, DBS Foundation partnered the CSA to co-launch a new anti-scam quiz in September 2023. This was specially designed to assess and enhance the community’s scam quotient, especially seniors, by testing their understanding of phishing and other types of online scams, and arming them with tips to protect themselves. 82% of the 3,200 participants who took the quiz shared that they felt more confident about banking digitally afterwards.

DBS Foundation aims to widen access to this quiz to some 30,000 people over the next year. This will be done by integrating the quiz into the curriculum for all digital literacy workshops under the DBS Foundation X Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) partnership, and engagements with seniors at all SG Digital Office (SDO) outlets island-wide. DBS Foundation also plans to avail the quiz at DBS/POSB branches and via its network of community partners and social service agencies, such as Lions Befrienders.

Ms Phua Puay Li, Senior Director (Policy and Corporate Development) of CSA, said: “It is important for the community to keep up to date with the latest scam information and the ever-changing tactics of cybercriminals. Cybersecurity is a team effort. We value the collaboration with partners like DBS Foundation to co-develop educational resources for the community, including our seniors, to equip them with the know-how to protect what is valuable to them.”

Dialling up public education and outreach efforts

DBS Foundation’s strategic collaboration with the IMDA – which was inked with the collective aim of driving digital inclusion in Singapore, as part of the national Digital for Life (DfL) movement – serves as a key touchpoint to drive anti-scam education in the community. The partnership recently hit its one-year milestone, and has exceeded the halfway mark of its target of reaching 100,000 beneficiaries. With the support of some 700 DBS/POSB employee volunteers, over 400 digital literacy workshops have been conducted as of January 2024, benefitting more than 60,000 people.

DBS volunteer guiding seniors at the digital literacy workshop on anti-scam tips and other digital literacy skills.
These workshops are part of DBS Foundation’s partnership with IMDA to drive digital literacy and inclusion in the community, so as to ensure no one’s left behind in today’s fast-digitalising world.

DBS Foundation will continue to work with IMDA to scale these digital literacy workshops to more neighbourhoods, as well as explore new formats to better engage the community. The digital literacy workshops are aligned with the Digital Skills for Life framework, introduced by IMDA in January 2024, which is a set of five baseline digital competencies to equip all Singaporeans to carry out daily tasks online. Singaporeans can also pick up digital skills under the DSL framework through resources available on IMDA’s DfL portal.

Ms Doreen Tan, Assistant Chief Executive (Strategic Planning and Digital Readiness) of IMDA, said: “IMDA is glad to collaborate with DBS Foundation to train the public in digital skills for staying safe online. The training is based on the Digital Skills for Life skills competencies just launched in Jan 2024. These essential digital skills competencies will be helpful to Singaporeans for their daily lives, such as transacting online and staying discerning and responsible online. Together with partners like DBS Foundation under the Digital for Life national movement, we work with the community to mobilise and train the community. Our goal: so that no one is left behind as Singapore digitalises.”

As part of the partnership, DBS Foundation also contributed SGD 1 million, inclusive of dollar-to-dollar government matching, to the Digital for Life Fund, which supports meaningful digital inclusion projects. These include projects from Metta Welfare Association and Guide Dogs Singapore, which seek to drive greater digital awareness, literacy, and adoption among the vulnerable segments that they support in the community, such as youth with mild intellectual disabilities and/or autism and the vision-impaired respectively.

The bank has also brought back its popular “Your Neighbourhood Getai” initiative, an edutainment-style workshop that marries Getai edutainment with digital literacy education. Minister for Education Chan Chun Sing graced the event at Bukit Merah View Market and Hawker Centre this morning, where he interacted with participating seniors and the bank’s staff volunteers to understand their learning journey. Organised by POSB and DBS Foundation, “Your Neighbourhood Getai” was first piloted last August as part of efforts to reach out to more seniors.

Minister of Education Chan Chun Sing and Han Kwee Juan, Acting Chief Information Office and Singapore Country Head at DBS, interacting with participants at the digital literacy workshop.

With scams affecting everyone, not just seniors, DBS Foundation continually explores new formats through which to dial up anti-scam awareness among the wider public. This includes intensifying outreach via platforms such as TikTok, to reach the younger demographic. It will soon be launching a new #AdoptAGrandparent TikTok campaign starting end February – done in partnership with Lions Befrienders, this creative anti-scam and digital inclusion initiative seeks to connect different generations through a shared journey to discover and fight against scams, and create a safer online space for all.

Empowering customers with control over the security of their funds

DBS/POSB also continues to fortify its suite of self-managed security features, providing customers with more choice and control over the security of their funds. This includes leveraging the bank’s ‘Security Checkup’ feature to monitor key security settings and take recommended actions to safeguard their bank accounts, using ‘Payment Controls’ to manage important payment settings, and/or locking up their funds in digiVault. Tutorials on how to use these security features are integrated into the bank’s anti-scam education outreach to galvanise customers and members of the public to take proactive action in strengthening their account security.

In addition, the bank will continue to enhance and expand its security features to safeguard customers and address their needs in the evolving scam and fraud landscape. This includes extending digiVault protection to other types of accounts and/or products in the coming weeks, allowing customers to lock up funds in their existing accounts.


About DBS
DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia with a presence in 19 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS is in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank's "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings are among the highest in the world.

Recognised for its global leadership, DBS has been named “World’s Best Bank” by Global Finance, “World’s Best Bank” by Euromoney and “Global Bank of the Year” by The Banker. The bank is at the forefront of leveraging digital technology to shape the future of banking, having been named “World’s Best Digital Bank” by Euromoney and the world’s “Most Innovative in Digital Banking” by The Banker. In addition, DBS has been accorded the “Safest Bank in Asia“ award by Global Finance for 15 consecutive years from 2009 to 2023.

DBS provides a full range of services in consumer, SME and corporate banking. As a bank born and bred in Asia, DBS understands the intricacies of doing business in the region’s most dynamic markets.

DBS is committed to building lasting relationships with customers, as it banks the Asian way. Through the DBS Foundation, the bank creates impact beyond banking by supporting businesses for impact: enterprises with a double bottom-line of profit and social and/or environmental impact. DBS Foundation also gives back to society in various ways, including equipping underserved communities with future-ready skills and helping them to build food resilience.

With its extensive network of operations in Asia and emphasis on engaging and empowering its staff, DBS presents exciting career opportunities. For more information, please visit www.dbs.com.