DBS, Singapore Courts and National Crime Prevention Council announce winners of community hackathon to find solutions that foster a scam-resilient society

Singapore.21 Oct 2022

Common themes across entries include the use of gamification to boost scam awareness and incentivise scam reporting

Singapore, 21 Oct 2022 - DBS, the Singapore Courts (SG Courts), and the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) announced the four winners of Hackathon for a Better World 2022 today. The community hackathon saw a total of 27 teams submit their best solutions for tackling scams, after two months of intense research and solutioning.

The winners were recognised in a presentation event, with Justice Aedit Abdullah, High Court Judge, and Tan Puay Kern, Vice Chairman, National Crime Prevention Council gracing the event as Guests-of-Honour. The event also saw the launch of a resource package containing all the submitted entries, which would be shared with community partners for their consideration in view of possible implementation. Summaries of the winning pitches as well as quotes from the winning teams can be found in Annex A.

Launched in July this year, Hackathon for a Better World 2022 focused on generating ground-up solutions to combat scams, at a time when the number of scam cases in Singapore has soared by more than 50%, resulting in victims losing more than SGD 600 million to scammers last year[1]. The hackathon also supports the Singapore Together movement, which brings together the Government and the community, as well as the private and public sectors, in citizen-led efforts to build a shared future for Singapore.

It culminated with six finalists making their pitch before a judging panel on 29 September 2022. Four winners were eventually selected for:

  • Most Innovative Idea
  • Most Life-Changing Idea
  • Most Human-Centred Idea
  • Most Feasible Idea

Mr Lam Chee Kin, Group Head of Legal, Compliance and Secretariat at DBS Bank, said, “It’s worth noting that although the four winners proposed tech-driven solutions, the heart of their proposals target how criminals exploit potential victims – this human-centricity is probably the biggest focus of the way we intend to take their work forward. DBS is grateful to all participants, and to our partners, the Singapore Judiciary and the National Crime Prevention Council, for yet another successful year of the Hackathon for a Better World.”

Justice Aedit Abdullah said, “We are pleased to be a part of this social-purpose Hackathon for the third successive year to explore and encourage creative solutions to combat increasingly sophisticated scam activities. I never cease to be amazed by the creativity of the ideas and enthusiasm displayed by the participants, and we are delighted to recognise the winning teams for their achievements. We look forward to implementing promising and innovative solutions in the near future.”

Mr Tan Puay Kern, Vice Chairman, National Crime Prevention Council, said, “We applaud all participating teams’ efforts to develop an array of creative solutions against scams. This competition is a testament of the public’s interest in scam prevention and will also act as a catalyst when NCPC rolls out future plans to fortify our community against scams.”

Last year, DBS, SG Courts partnered the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) for Hackathon for a Better World, where teams submitted innovative solutions aimed at designing a safer, kinder and more responsible internet for all. Commenting on the successful hackathon which had yielded ideas for future implementation, Mr Aaron Maniam, Deputy Secretary (Industry & International), Ministry of Communications and Information, said, “We were pleased that nine out of 28 submissions from last year’s hackathon complemented efforts by the Singapore Together Alliance For Action To Tackle Online Harms, Especially Those Targeted at Women and Girls (also known as the “Sunlight AfA”) to raise awareness about online harms, equip individuals with resources and skills to respond to online harms as well as enhance the support journey for victims.”

Hackathon for a Better World adopts a unique ‘slow-burn’ format, where participants work on their problem statements through an iterative process. This is unlike the usual hackathon format where participants solve problem statements over a few hours or a few days. The unconventional approach was designed to give participants the space to develop sharper, more meaningful responses to the complex challenges before them.

To support participants on their ‘learn-as-you-hack’ journey, DBS also organised a design thinking masterclass on the bank’s in-house innovation framework that enables participants to test, develop and validate data-driven insights as they work on their proposals. They also received first-hand insights on industry measures to counter scams that would help them with their ideation. Attendees also got to hear from industry experts, such as Carolyn Misir, Principal Psychologist at the Police Psychological Services Department, to better understand the psychology behind scams.

[1] Scam victims in S'pore lost $633.3 million in 2021


About DBS
DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia with a presence in 18 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 14 consecutive years from 2009 to 2022.

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 social enterprises: businesses 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 communities with future-ready skills and building 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.

About SG Courts
The Singapore Courts – comprising the Supreme Court, State Courts and Family Justice Courts – is one of the three constitutional pillars of government in Singapore. Known collectively as SG Courts, we are integrated and coordinated to serve as one judiciary. As an organ of state, the judiciary’s function is to independently administer justice. Headed by the Chief Justice, we are a forward-looking, innovative and trusted judiciary. Built on judicial professionalism and transparency, we maintain the highest standards of integrity in safeguarding our community. We pledge to ensure equal and continuous access to justice, and we are committed to deliver justice that is fair and impartial.

For more information, please visit www.judiciary.gov.sg.

About National Crime Prevention Council
The NCPC is a non-profit organisation committed to promoting public awareness of and concern about crime and to propagate the concept of self-help in crime prevention. The Council comprises representatives from the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as from the public sector and the Singapore Police Force.

About Singapore Together
Singapore Together is about Singaporeans working with one another, and with the Government, to build our shared future. The Government will open up more partnership opportunities for Singaporeans to participate, and support more citizen-led efforts. Whatever our background or interests, we can each step forward to contribute in areas that we care about. By working together, we can turn diversity into strength and transform challenges into opportunities, to build a Singapore that present and future generations of Singaporeans will be proud of. For more information, visit www.sg.