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Majority of Singaporeans exhibit enhanced confidence in detecting scam calls, SMS

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Teddy Cambosa

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6 months ago

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Singapore Approximately 75% of Singaporeans have expressed increased confidence in discerning scam calls and SMS compared to their confidence levels a year ago, as per the latest findings from Toku, a cloud communications and customer experience (CX) software company.

A striking 91% of survey participants are of the opinion that organizations are actively working to educate the public about scams, providing them with the necessary knowledge to effectively recognize and counter fraudulent activities.

An illustrative instance of a government initiative making a discernible impact is the SMS Sender ID Registry (SSIR). In early 2023, the SSIR mandated that organizations register their brand names with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore to authenticate their identity when employing SMS.

Survey results indicate that 87% of Singaporean consumers find the SSIR beneficial in verifying the legitimacy of the SMS they receive. Additionally, 63% reported a decrease in spam or scam messages as a result of the SSIR implementation.

Thomas Laboulle, founder and CEO at Toku, said, “Over the past 12 months, consumers in Singapore have shown a clear shift in their awareness of scams and a rise in their confidence in dealing with them. This has had an impact on the levels of trust they have for the communication channels they use, leading to changing preferences and behaviour in how they interact with brands.”

Despite the continued prevalence of scam SMS, approximately 73% of individuals noted an increased confidence in their ability to recognize such messages. In the past 12 months, fewer than a quarter of consumers clicked on URLs within these messages, resulting in a mere 13% experiencing financial losses.

Similar confidence extends to the realm of scam calls, with about 75% expressing assurance in identifying them. Notably, there was a 19% decline in the number of consumers who answered scam calls over the preceding 12 months.

Contrary to their status as digital natives, more than a third (36%) of millennials demonstrated a willingness to click on suspicious SMS links, even if labeled as “Likely-Scam”—the highest proportion among all age groups. In contrast, only 8% of those aged 18-24 and 13% of individuals aged 45-54 are inclined to click on such dubious SMS links.

Labouelle added, “This result may be surprising, but it’s in fact in line with numbers from the Singapore Police Force. Data released by the police in September 2023 showed that those aged 20 to 39 were the most likely to be cheated in scams, making up more than 50% of all victims.”

He also said, “Our research shows that Singapore consumers have varying levels of trust and preferences for different channels and types of communication. Organisations should pay attention to these preferences to meet customers where they want. The rise of generative AI gives companies an unprecedented opportunity to reinforce consumer trust and build more personalised customer experience. AI can take over repetitive and tedious tasks while empowering human agents with the right information and context to further improve their customer service.”

The data additionally revealed the favored communication channels among Singaporean consumers when interacting with brands. Notably, SMS retains a high preference among Singapore consumers for OTPs (79%), bank alerts (76%), and appointment reminders (72%). Concurrently, WhatsApp has gained traction for marketing messages (47%) and order updates (55%).

Moreover, when faced with urgent matters related to payments or finance, approximately 3 out of 4 consumers lean towards contacting an agent via phone. Similarly, 2 out of 3 individuals opt to engage with a phone support agent to address issues related to product and service faults.

Discover the current trends in business communication based on over 473 billion interactions. Download the free report here to stay ahead of the curve in messaging trends!
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